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IRS.gov Website
Publication 929
taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203773

Standard Deduction(p7)

rule
The standard deduction for an individual who can be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return is generally limited to the larger of:
  1. $950, or
  2. The individual's earned income plus $300, but not more than the regular standard deduction (generally $5,700).
However, the standard deduction is higher for a dependent who:
For more information about the higher standard deduction for sales or excise tax paid for the purchase of a new motor vehicle, see Publication 501.
Certain dependents cannot claim any standard deduction. See Standard Deduction of Zero, later.
taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203774

Worksheet 1.(p7)

rule
Use Worksheet 1 to figure the dependent's standard deduction. taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203775
Pencil

Worksheet 1. Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents

Use this worksheet only if someone can claim you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) as a dependent.
  Do not use this worksheet for a dependent who paid any state or local sales or excise tax in 2010 for the purchase of any new motor vehicle after February 16, 2009, and before January 1, 2010. Use Schedule L (Form 1040A or 1040).
If you were 65 or older and/or blind, check the correct number of boxes below. Put the total number of boxes checked in box c and go to line 1.
a.You65 or older  box  Blind  box  
b.Your spouse, if claiming
spouse's exemption
65 or older  box  Blind   box  
c.Total boxes checkedbox     
1.Enter your earned income (defined below) plus $300. If none, enter -0-. 1. 
2.Minimum amount. 2.$950 
3.Compare lines 1 and 2. Enter the larger of the two amounts here. 3. 
4.Enter on line 4 the amount shown below for your filing status.   
  • Single or Married filing separately—$5,700
  • Married filing jointly—$11,400
  • Head of household—$8,400
4. 
5.Standard deduction.    
a.Compare lines 3 and 4. Enter the smaller amount here. If under 65 and not blind, stop here. This is your standard deduction. Otherwise, go on to line 5b. 5a. 
b.If 65 or older or blind, multiply $1,400 ($1,100 if married) by the number in box c above. Enter the result here.5b. 
c.Add lines 5a and 5b. This is your standard deduction for 2010.5c. 
Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, professional fees, and other compensation received for personal services you performed. It also includes any amount received as a scholarship that you must include in income. 
taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203777

Example 1.(p7)

Michael is single, age 15, and not blind. His parents can claim him as a dependent on their tax return. He has taxable interest income of $800 and wages of $150. He did not purchase a new motor vehicle. He enters $450 (his earned income plus $300) on line 1 of Worksheet 1. On line 3, he enters $950, the larger of $450 or $950. Michael enters $5,700 on line 4. On line 5a, he enters $950, the smaller of $950 or $5,700. His standard deduction is $950.
taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203778

Example 2.(p7)

Judy, a full-time student, is single, age 22, and not blind. Her parents can claim her as a dependent on their tax return. She has dividend income of $275 and wages of $2,500. She did not purchase a new motor vehicle. She enters $2,800 (her earned income plus $300) on line 1 of Worksheet 1. On line 3, she enters $2,800, the larger of $2,800 or $950. She enters $5,700 on line 4. On line 5a, she enters $2,800 (the smaller of $2,800 or $5,700) as her standard deduction.
taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203779

Example 3.(p8)

Amy, who is single, is claimed as a dependent on her parents' tax return. She is 18 and blind. She has taxable interest income of $1,000 and wages of $2,000. She did not purchase a new motor vehicle. She enters $2,300 (her earned income plus $300) on line 1 of Worksheet 1. She enters $2,300 (the larger of $2,300 or $950) on line 3, $5,700 on line 4, and $2,300 (the smaller of $2,300 or $5,700) on line 5a. Because Amy is blind, she checks the box for blindness and enters "1" in box c at the top of Worksheet 1. She enters $1,400 (the number in box c times $1,400) on line 5b. Her standard deduction on line 5c is $3,700 ($2,300 + $1,400).
taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203780

Standard Deduction of Zero(p8)

rule
The standard deduction for the following dependents is zero.
taxmap/pubs/p929-004.htm#en_us_publink1000203781

Example.(p8)

Jennifer, who is a dependent of her parents, is entitled to file a joint return with her husband. However, her husband elects to file a separate return and itemize his deductions. Because he itemizes, Jennifer's standard deduction on her return is zero. She can, however, itemize any of her allowable deductions.