Deductions allowed when you do not itemize

Deductions Allowed When You Do Not Itemize

by | 52 Tax Tips and Weekly Financial Blog



There are lines and then there are fine lines that can be read to understand better about the available options for deductions on tax returns. Shaun and Penny, a married couple and parents of two children, wanted to make the most of the available options. They are aware that there are other tax deductions you can also deduct, in addition to the standard deductions. So, this week we will discuss deductions that are available to be used on your tax return, even if you DO NOT itemize.

There are two ways to reduce your income on your income tax returns. Reducing your income is a way to also reduce the income tax you may be responsible for. The two methods are known as itemizing your deductions and using the standard deduction. Many taxpayers find that they are better off using the standard deduction, rather than itemizing on their tax returns. The standard deduction is a pre-arranged tax deduction the IRS allows taxpayers to claim on their tax returns, based on marital status, among other things.

For instance, the standard deduction for 2019 for single taxpayers is $12,200, head of household taxpayers can use $18,350, while married filing joint taxpayers are allowed $24,400 as a standard deduction. This is a reduction of taxable income, before federal income tax is computed.

But some deductions are available without having to itemize and are called deductions FOR Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Deductions for AGI are ALWAYS better than deductions from AGI (which is either a Standard Deduction or Itemized Deductions).

There are other tax deductions you can also deduct in addition to the standard deductions, for example:

  • IRA contributions (There are certain rules allowing this deduction, depending on whether you or your spouse are in a retirement plan at work, and depending on how much income you earn)
  • Self-Employment Retirement Savings Plans (SEP, Keogh, SIMPLE)
  • Student loan interest
  • Tuition fees
  • Self-Employment Health Insurance Payments (You can deduct 100% of health insurance premiums and part of any long-term care policy premiums, includes Medicare insurance) For Business owners, partners or shareholders of S-Corporations
  • Alimony paid to former spouse (not allowed for divorces decreed after 2018)
  • Health Savings Accounts (This is a medical savings plan where you can contribute money for future medical bills and get a tax deduction for doing so)
  • Self-Employment Social Security and Medicare Tax (Self-employed must pay 100% of any Medicare and Social Security tax to the IRS, but they also receive a ½ deduction on the front of their tax return as a benefit of being self-employed)
  • Moving expenses paid because of change in jobs (if member of the military).
  • Early withdrawal penalties from CD’s, savings accounts, insurance contracts


  • Educator expenses for supplies purchased for classrooms


  • National Guard or Reservist expenses (for those who work out of town overnight)
  • Many of these For AGI deductions have limits. Be sure to ask Azmoneyguy or your tax professional what the limits are for this year.


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Mr. Hockensmith has been a guest newscaster for national and local TV stations in Phoenix since 1995, broadcasting financial and tax topics to the general pubic. He has written tax and accounting articles for both national and local newspapers and professional journals. He has been a public speaker nationally and locally on tax, accounting, financial planning and economics since 1992. He was a Disaster Reservist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for many years after his military service. He served as a Colonel with the US Army, retiring from military service after 36 years in 2008. Early in his accounting career, he was a Accountant and Consultant with Arthur Andersen CPA’s and Ernst & Young CPA’s.

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Tax Tips and Financial Blog