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The Truth About Personal Finance (Collection) by Kay S. Bell, Steve Weisman

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Truth 10. Standard versus itemized deductions

Your tax bill depends on how much taxable income you have. So, to get to the smallest tax due, you need to get your taxable income amount as small as possible.

One way to accomplish this is by claiming deductions. Most of us have a choice of taking either the standard deduction amount or itemizing allowable expenses. And most of us use the standard deduction.

Internal Revenue Service annual filing statistics for the last few years have shown that around two-thirds of filers claim the standard amount. One of the main reasons for the choice is that it’s easy. There’s no need to keep track of, or justify if the IRS has questions, your actual deductions, such as medical expenses, charitable ...

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