The Extra Standard Deduction for People Age 65 and Older

The extra standard deduction can help older adults reduce their taxable income.
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You’ve probably heard about the standard deduction, but did you know that the tax code offers a perk in the form of an extra standard deduction for people aged 65 or older? 
For eligible older adult filers, the additional deduction stacks on the regular standard deduction and can further reduce taxable income. That, in turn, can increase the amount of hard-earned money you keep in retirement.Here’s more of what you need to know.

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What’s the 2023 standard deduction?

Before delving into the extra standard deduction for older adults aged 65 and older, reviewing the regular standard deduction and how it works for 2023 is helpful.

The standard deduction is a predetermined amount that reduces your taxable income, lowering the income subject to tax. In most cases, whether to take the standard deduction (which most taxpayers choose to do) is up to you. (However, some taxpayers cannot claim the standard deduction.)

The alternative is to itemize deductions, which involves claiming individual deductions on your federal income tax return. Common itemized deductions include things like mortgage interest and charitable donations.

The amount of your standard deduction depends on several different factors. For example:
  • Your filing status
  • Whether you are 65 or older
  • Whether you are blind
  • Whether another taxpayer can claim you as a dependent on their tax return
For 2023 (tax returns typically filed in April 2024), the standard deduction amounts are $13,850 for single and for those who are married, filing separately; $27,700 for those married filing jointly and qualified widowers; and $20,800 for head of household.

What about 2024? Note: The IRS adjusts the standard deduction annually for inflation.  The agency has just released 2024 standard deduction amounts that will apply to the returns you normally file in 2025.

For more on the 2023 standard deduction: What’s the Standard Deduction?

For more on the new 2024 standard deduction: 2024 Standard Deduction Amounts Are Here

IRS extra standard deduction for older adults

When you turn 65, you become eligible for an additional standard deduction on top of the regular standard deduction. However, the amount of this extra deduction can vary based on factors like filing status and whether you or your spouse are 65 or older. Whether you or your spouse is blind is another factor.

For 2023, the additional standard deduction is $1,850 if you are single or file as head of household. If you're married, filing jointly or separately, the extra standard deduction amount is $1,500 per qualifying individual. 

If you are 65 or older and blind, the extra standard deduction is $3,700 if you are single or filing as head of household. It's $3,000 per qualifying individual if you are married, filing jointly or separately. 
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2023 Extra Standard Deduction for Age 65 and Older (Single or Head of Household)
65 or older or blind$1,850
65 or older and blind$3,700
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2023 Extra Standard Deduction Age 65 or Older (Married Filing Jointly or Separately)
65 or older or blind$1,500 per qualifying individual
65 or older and blind$3,000 per qualifying individual

Note: For the additional standard deduction for people who are blind, you have to be completely blind by the end of a given tax year. Or, you have to have a doctor's certification (in this case, an ophthalmologist or optometrist) that your eyesight is at least 20/200 (in the best eye with corrective lenses.) Or, your doctor must certify that your field of vision is 20 degrees or less.

2024 standard deduction over 65

The just-released additional standard deduction amount for 2024 (returns usually filed in early 2025) is $1,550 ($1,950 if unmarried and not a surviving spouse). See the charts below.
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2024 Extra Standard Deduction Age 65 or Older (Single or Head of Household)
65 or older or blind$1,950
65 or older and blind$3,900
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2024 Extra Standard Deduction Age 65 and Older (Married Filing Jointly or Separately)
65 or older or blind$1,550 per qualifying individual
65 or older and blind$3,100 per qualifying individual

Claiming the extra standard deduction

As retirees tend to face rising medical and other expenses, the extra standard deduction for individuals 65 and older can help alleviate tax burdens by reducing taxable income. This boost may free up funds for essential needs, leisure activities, or to support loved ones.

If you are eligible to claim the extra standard deduction and aren’t sure how it impacts your tax liability, consult a trusted tax professional or to maximize your tax benefits.

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Senior Tax Editor, 49ermike.com
As the senior tax editor at 49ermike.com, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.