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You can claim the standard deduction or itemized deductions to lower your taxable income. The standard deduction lowers your income by one fixed amount. On the other hand, itemized deductions are made up of a list of eligible expenses. You can claim whichever lowers your tax bill the most.
The article below outlines how standard and itemized deductions work for the 2017 tax year.Tax reformpassed at the end of 2017 may impact whether you claim thenew standard deductionsor claimitemized deductionsfor tax year 2018 and beyond.
The standard deduction is a fixed dollar amount that reduces the income youre taxed on. Your standard deduction varies according to your filing status. In 2018, the standard deduction is:
Your standard deduction increases if youre blind or age 65 or older. It increases by $1,550 if youre single or head of household and by $1,250 if youre married or a qualifying widow(er).
About two out of every three returns claim the standard deduction. The standard deduction:
Allows you a deduction even if you have no expenses that qualify for claiming itemized deductions
Eliminates the need to itemize deductions, like medical expenses and charitable donations
Lets you avoid keeping records and receipts of your expenses in case youre audited by the IRS
Itemized deductionsalso reduce your taxable income. Ex: If youre in the 15% tax bracket, every $1,000 in itemized deductions knocks $150 off of your tax bill.
You might benefit from itemizing your deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A if you:
Have itemized deductions that total more than the standard deduction you would receive
Had large, out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses
Paid mortgage interest and real estate taxes on your home
Had large, unreimbursed expenses as an employee
Had a large, uninsured casualty (fire, flood, wind) or theft losses
Made large contributions to qualified charities
Had large, unreimbursed miscellaneous expenses
However, your itemized deductions might total less than your standard deduction. If so, you can still itemize deductions rather than claim the standard deduction. You might want to do this if youd pay less tax. This can happen if you itemize on your federal and state returns and get a larger tax benefit than you would if you claimed the standard deduction on your federal and state returns.
If your adjusted gross income (AGI) from Form 1040, Line 37 was more than certain amounts, some of your itemized deductions were limited. For tax year 2017, the limitations apply if your AGI is more than:
To learn more, see Publication 505: Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
Have additional questions about whether to claim itemized deductions or the standard deduction? Our Tax Pros speak the tricky language of taxes and are committed to helping you better understand your taxes.
Make an Appointmentwith one of our Tax Pros today.
Who can you claim as a dependent? Learn more about the rules for claiming dependents on your tax return with the experts at H&R Block.
If you had a balance due for your federal and state taxes last year, can you deduct what you had to pay on this years taxes? Learn more from the tax e
What is the depreciation schedule for computers and other equipment? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.
Find out why you can itemize your taxes with advice from the tax experts at H&R Block.
H&R Block Online Deluxe or Premium, or H&R Block Software Basic, Deluxe, Premium or Premium & Business get unlimited sessions of live, personal tax advice with a tax professional. You can ask our tax advisors an unlimited number of questions at no extra cost (excludes business returns). Standard live chat hours apply (10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (all times CT).
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If you find an error in the H&R Block online tax program that entitles you to a larger refund (or smaller liability), we will refund the fees you paid us to use our program to prepare that return and you may use our program to amend your return at no additional charge. To qualify, the larger refund or smaller tax liability must not be due to differences in data supplied by you, your choice not to claim a deduction or credit, positions taken on your return that are contrary to law, or changes in federal or state tax laws after January 1, 2019.
If the online tax preparation or tax software makes an arithmetic error that results in your payment of a penalty and/or interest to the IRS that you would otherwise not have been required to pay, H&R Block will reimburse you up to a maximum of $10,000. Terms and conditions apply; seeAccurate Calculations Guaranteefor details.
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H&R Block prices are ultimately determined at the time of print or e-file. All prices are subject to change without notice.
H&R Block online tax preparation and Tax Pro Review prices are ultimately determined at the time of print or e-file. All prices are subject to change without notice.
A simple tax return excludes self-employment income (Schedule C), capital gains and losses (Schedule D), rental and royalty income (Schedule E), farm income (Schedule F) shareholder/partnership income or loss (Schedule K-1), and earned income credit (Schedule EIC).
State programs can be added within the program for an additional cost. Most state programs available in January. Release dates vary by state. The following states do not support part-year/nonresident forms: AL, DC, HIand MT.
Enrolled Agents do not provide legal representation; signed Power of Attorney required. Audit services constitute tax advice only. Consult an attorney for legal advice. Void where prohibited.
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Additional state programs are extra. Most state programs available in January; release dates vary by state.
All prices are subject to change without notice.
One state program can be downloaded at no additional cost from within the program. Additional state programs extra.
One personal state program and unlimited business state program downloads are included with the purchase of this software. Additional personal state programs extra.
Important terms and conditions apply. SeeTax Identity Care Terms and Conditionsfor complete details.
Offer valid for tax preparation fees for new clients only. A new client is an individual who did not use H&R Block office services to prepare his or her 2016 tax return. Valid receipt for 2016 tax preparation fees from a tax preparer other than H&R Block must be presented prior to completion of initial tax office interview. May not be combined with other offers. Offer period March 1 25, 2018 at participating offices only. To qualify, tax return must be paid for and filed during this period. Visit hrblock.com/halfoff to find the nearest participating office or to make an appointment. OBTP B13696 ©2018 HRB Tax Group, Inc.
Results vary. All tax situations are different. Fees apply if you have us file a corrected or amended return. The IRS allows taxpayers to amend returns from the previous three tax years to claim additional refunds to which they are entitled. Applies to individual tax returns only. At participating offices.
Price for Federal 1040EZ may vary at certain locations. See local office for pricing.
Type of federal return filed is based on taxpayers personal situation and IRS rules/regulations. Form 1040EZ is generally used by single/married taxpayers with taxable income under $100,000, no dependents, no itemized deductions, and certain types of income (including wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarships or fellowship grants, and unemployment compensation). Additional fees apply with Earned Income Credit and you file any other returns such as city or local income tax returns, or if you select other products and services such as Refund Transfer. Available at participating U.S. locations.
If H&R Block makes an error on your return, well pay resulting penalties and interest.
If you discover an H&R Block error on your return that entitles you to a larger refund (or smaller tax liability), well refund the tax prep fee for that return and file an amended return at no additional charge. Refund claims must be made during the calendar year in which the return was prepared.
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Available only at participating H&R Block offices. CAA service not available at all locations. H&R Block does not provide immigration services. An ITIN is an identification number issued by the U.S. government for tax reporting only. Having an ITIN does not change your immigration status. You are required to meet government requirements to receive your ITIN. Additional fees and restrictions may apply.
For tax years beginning after 2017, applicants claimed as dependents must also prove U.S. residency unless the applicant is a dependent of U.S. military personnel stationed overseas. A passport that doesnt have a date of entry wont be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for dependents.
Supporting Identification Documents must be original or copies certified by the issuing agency. Original supporting documentation for dependents must be included in the application.
At participating offices. Results may vary. Only available for returns not prepared by H&R Block. All tax situations are different and not everyone gets a refund. Fees apply if you have us file an amended return. The IRS allows taxpayers to amend returns from the previous three tax years to claim additional refunds to which they are entitled. Applies to individual tax returns only.
Starting price for simple federal return. Price varies based on complexity. Starting price for state returns will vary by state filed and complexity.
Audit services only available at participating offices.
Comparison based on paper check mailed from the IRS.
Amended tax returns not included in flat fees. A separate agreement is required for all Tax Audit & Notice Services. Tax Audit & Notice Services include tax advice only. Consult your own attorney for legal advice. A Power of Attorney may be required for some Tax Audit & Notice Services.
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Important Terms, Conditions and Limitations apply. SeeTax Identity Shield Terms, Conditions and Limitationsfor complete details.
H&R Block does not provide audit, attest or public accounting services and therefore is not registered with the board of accountancy of the State in which the tax professional prepares returns.
The tax identity theft risk assessment will be provided in January 2019. The tax identity theft risk assessment is based on various data sources and actual risk may vary beyond factors included in analysis.
Due to federally declared disaster in 2017 and/or 2018, the IRS will allow affected taxpayers an extended filing date to file and pay for their 2017 taxes. SeeIRS.govfor details.
Free ITIN application services available only at participating H&R Block offices, and applies only when completing an original federal tax return (prior or current year). CAA service not available at all locations.
The Send A Friend coupon must be presented prior to the completion of initial tax office interview. A new client is defined as an individual who did not use H&R Block or Block Advisors office services to prepare his or her prior-year tax return. Discount valid only for tax prep fees for an original 2017 personal income tax return prepared in a participating office. May not be combined with any other promotion including Free 1040EZ. Void if sold, purchased or transferred, and where prohibited. No cash value. Must be a resident of the U.S., in a participating U.S. office. Expires 4/10/2018. Referring client will receive a $20 gift card for each valid new client referred, limit two. Gift card will be mailed approximately two weeks after referred client has had his or her taxes prepared in an H&R Block or Block Advisors office and paid for that tax preparation. Referred client must have taxes prepared by 4/10/2018. H&R Block employees, including Tax Professionals, are excluded from participating.
Available at participating offices and if your employer(s) participate in the W-2 Early Access
Valid for 2017 personal income tax return only. Return must be filed January 5 – February 28, 2018 at participating offices to qualify. Type of federal return filed is based on your personal tax situation and IRS rules. Form 1040EZ is generally used by single/married taxpayers with taxable income under $100,000, no dependents, no itemized deductions, and certain types of income (including wages, salaries, tips, some scholarships/grants, and unemployment compensation). Additional fees apply for Earned Income Credit and certain other additional forms, for state and local returns, and if you select other products and services. Visithrblock.com/ezto find the nearest participating office or to make an appointment. OBTPB13696 ©2017 HRB Tax Group, Inc.
This is an optional tax refund-related loan from Axos Bank
, Member FDIC; it is not your tax refund. Loans are offered in amounts of $500, $750, $1250 or $3000. Approval and loan amount based on expected refund amount, ID verification, eligibility criteria, and underwriting. If approved, funds will be loaded on a prepaid card and the loan amount will be deducted from your tax refund, reducing the amount paid directly to you. Tax returns may be e-filed without applying for this loan. Fees for other optional products or product features may apply. Limited time offer. Available at participating locations. Not offered in Puerto Rico. HRB Maine License No. FRA2. OBTPB13696 Seehrblock.com/refundadvancefor details. ©2018 HRB Tax Group, Inc.
is a tax refund-related deposit product issued by Axos Bank
, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Emerald Financial Services, LLC is a registered agent of Axos Bank. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Not available at all locations and to all applicants. Additional fees, terms and conditions apply; consult your Cardholder Agreement for details. ID verification required. ©2019 HRB Tax Group, Inc.
Merchants/offers vary. Rewards will be posted to your Emerald Card on or around the 5th day of the month following your qualifying purchase. Rewards are in the form of a cash credit loaded onto the card and are subject to applicable withdrawal/cash back limits.
For a full schedule of Emerald Card fees, see your Cardholder Agreement.
Payroll, unemployment, government benefits and other direct deposit funds are available on effective date of settlement with provider. Please check with your employer or benefits provider as they may not offer direct deposit or partial direct deposit. Faster access to funds is based on comparison of traditional banking policies for check deposits versus electronic direct deposit.
Fees apply to Emerald Card bill pay service. See Online and Mobile Banking Agreement for details.
, Member FDIC. H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard
issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. All products subject to ID verification. If approved for an Emerald Advance
, your credit limit could be between $350-$1000. Line of credit subject to credit and underwriting approval. Fees apply. Products offered only at participating offices. Promotional period 11/15/2018 1/11/2019. Emerald Financial Services, LLC is a registered agent of Axos Bank. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Emerald Advance line of credit is a tax refund-related credit product. Emerald Card
is a tax refund-related deposit product. OBTPB13696 ©2019 HRB Tax Group, Inc.
When you use an ATM, we charge a $3 withdrawal fee. You may be charged an additional fee by the ATM operator (and you may be charged a fee even if you do not complete a fund transfer). See your Cardholder Agreement for details on all ATM fees.
Emerald Card Retail Reload Providers may charge a convenience fee. Any Retail Reload Fee is an independent fee assessed by the individual retailer only and is not assessed by H&R Block or Axos Bank
Refund Transfer (RT) is a tax refund-related deposit product provided by Axos Bank
, Member FDIC. Fees apply. You must meet legal requirements for opening a bank account. RT is a bank deposit, not a loan, and is limited to the size of your refund less applicable fees. You can e-file your return and get your refund without an RT, a loan or extra fees. Maine License No.: FRA2. Available at participating offices.
charges a fee for Emerald Card mobile updates; however, standard text messaging and data rates may apply.
US Mastercard Zero Liability does not apply to commercial accounts (except for small business card programs). Conditions and exceptions apply see your Cardholder Agreement for details about reporting lost or stolen cards and liability for unauthorized transactions.
Requires purchase of a Refund Transfer (RT), for which a temporary bank account is required and fees apply. See RT Application for full terms and conditions. RT is provided by Axos Bank
, Member FDIC. Fees apply. You must meet legal requirements for opening a bank account. A RT is a bank deposit, not a loan, and is limited to the size of your refund less applicable fees. You can electronically file your return and receive your refund without a RT, a loan or extra fees. H&R Block Maine License Number: FRA2. Available at participating offices. RT is a tax refund-related deposit product.
Availability of Refund Transfer (RT) funds varies by state. Funds will be applied to your selected method of disbursement once they are received from the state taxing authority.
The Rapid Reload logo is a trademark owned by Wal-Mart Stores. Inc. Rapid Reload not available in VT and WY. Fees apply. Check cashing fees may also apply. Check cashing not available in NJ, NY, RI, VT and WY.
If approved, you could be eligible for a credit limit between $350 and $1,000.
Minimum monthly payments apply. Line balance must be paid down to zero by February 15 each year. Year-round access may require an Emerald Savings
Fees apply when making cash payments through MoneyGram
Please consult your tax professional for further information regarding eligibility, tax-deductibility of Traditional IRA contributions, tax-deferred/tax-exempt interest, limitations and tax consequences of distributions for college expenses and first-time home purchases, and additional IRS rules governing both Traditional and Roth IRAs. Severe penalties may be imposed for contributions and distributions not made in accordance with IRS rules.
Interest accrues daily and is credited monthly. Minimum opening deposit was $300 or a monthly direct deposit of $25. No minimum balance is required to obtain the stated APY. All fees and rates are subject to change after account opening. Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective as of August 12, 2015 at 21:53 PM CST and is subject to change without prior notice. Unless exception applies, a 10% IRS early distribution penalty if withdrawn prior to age 59 will apply. Fees may reduce earnings on the account. If you close your account prior to the crediting of interest, you will not receive the accrued interest. See fee disclosure and account agreement for details.
Transferring funds from another bank account to your Emerald Card may not be available to all cardholders and other terms and conditions apply. There are limits on the total amount you can transfer and how often you can request transfers. Axos Bank
does not charge a fee for this service; please see your bank for details on its fees.
7-ELEVEN is a registered trademark of 7-Eleven, Inc.
©2015 InComm. All Rights Reserved. Vanilla Reload is provided by ITC Financial Licenses, Inc. ITC Financial Licenses, Inc. is licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Terms and conditions apply.
If you request cash back when making a purchase in a store, you may be charged a fee by the merchant processing the transaction. Always ask the merchant if a surcharge applies when requesting cash back at the point of sale.
Applicants must be 18 years of age in the state in which they reside (19 in Nebraska and Alabama, 21 in Puerto Rico.) Identity verification is required. Both cardholders will have equal access to and ownership of all funds added to the card account. See Cardholder Agreement for details.
Use of (Tap) for Balance is governed by the H&R Block Mobile and Online Banking Online Bill Payment Agreement and Disclosure. Once activated, you can view your card balance on the login screen with a tap of your finger. You should enable the security features on your mobile device, because anyone who has access to it will be able to view your account balance. You also accept all risk associated with (Tap) for Balance, and agree that neither H&R Block, Axos Bank
nor any of their respective parents or affiliated companies have any liability associated with its use. You will still be required to login to further manage your account.
Timing is based on an e-filed return with direct deposit to your Card Account.
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Enrollment in, or completion of, the H&R Block Income Tax Course is neither an offer nor a guarantee of employment. Additional qualifications may be required. Enrollment restrictions apply. There is no tuition fee for the H&R Block Income Tax Course; however, you may be required to purchase course materials, which may be non-refundable. State restrictions may apply. Additional training or testing may be required in CA, OR, and other states. Valid at participating locations only. Void where prohibited. This course is not open to any persons who are either currently employed by or seeking employment with any professional tax preparation company or organization other than H&R Block. During the course, should H&R Block learn of any students employment or intended employment with a competing professional tax preparation company, H&R Block reserves the right to immediately cancel the students enrollment. The student will be required to return all course materials, which may not be refundable. Discount is off course materials in state where applicable. Discount must be used on initial purchase only. Not valid on subsequent payment. Expires January 31, 2020. CTEC 1040-QE-2127 ©2019 HRB Tax Group, Inc.
H&R Block has been approved by the California Tax Education Council to offer the H&R Block Income Tax Course, CTEC 1040-QE-2127 which fulfills the 60 hour qualifying education requirement imposed by the State of California to become a tax preparer. A listing of additional requirements to register as a tax preparer may be obtained by contacting CTEC at P.O. Box 2890, Sacramento, CA 95812-2890; toll-free by phone at (877)850-2832; or at
The course consists of 78 hours of instruction in Maryland, 89 hours of instruction in Oregon and 89 hours of instruction in California.
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