Married taxpayers typically have higher deduction thresholds and income limits compared to single filers. However, single filers can take all the same deductions that married filers can. Single filers also benefit from extra tax perks, like the head of household filing status. Check the Internal Revenue Service guide on credits and deductions to find out which tax breaks you're eligible for.
Single parents can benefit from a head of household filing status. To qualify for head of household, you must be unmarried as of the last day of the tax year, paid more than half the costs for your household and have at least one dependent living with you for most of the year. Single parents that meet the eligibility requirements are rewarded with a lower tax rate and standard deduction compared to single filers and married filers. As of 2015, the standard deduction is $6,200 for single filers, $12,400 for married filers and $9,100 for head of household filers.
If you're single and pursuing some type of education, there are plenty of credits and deductions available for you from the IRS. The American Opportunity Tax Credit is available for single students during the first four years of college. Graduate students can take advantage of the Lifetime Learning Credit. If you earn too much money to qualify for either of these credits, single filers can also claim a tuition and fees deduction of up to $2,000.
All taxpayers, including single taxpayers, can get deductions for certain work-related expenses. If you had to incur costs for work -- like using your personal cellphone, computer or car-- and your employer didn't reimburse you, you can write off the expenses as an unreimbursed business expense on Schedule A. If you moved more than 50 miles to take a new job, you may also be able to deduct the cost of moving your personal items and traveling to a new home. To take these deductions, you must choose to itemize rather than take the standard deduction.
Single homeowners have the opportunity to deduct the cost of real estate taxes and mortgage interest expense paid during the year. Any points you paid to lower your interest rate or loan origination fees are also deductible. Single homeowners can also deduct mortgage insurance premiums paid. Your lender will send you a Form 1098 at the end of the year that lists the exact amount of deductible payments you made to it. You won't get a tax form for your property taxes, so keep a copy of your notice or contact your county tax assessor for a receipt.
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