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Federal 2012 Standard Deduction, Personal Exemption and Tax Brackets


While I understand the mere mention of state or federal tax returns will easily put a person to sleep, newly released tax data will result in more money for your wallet.

At least not everyone in the federal government is fighting, some folks are getting real work done. According to the Federal Government, over the past twelve months inflation has averaged 2.43%. Given the high prices on food at the grocery store, I thought inflation was going to be a tad higher.

The good yet surprising news is that inflation is slightly under the historical average.  But it is higher than the previous 12-month average of 1.48%, according to a new report by the Tax Foundation.

The inflation rate is used by the federal government to calculate federal tax parameters such as the standard deduction, personal exemption, and tax bracket thresholds.

Note:  In early 2012, Federal Tax Returns for 2011 will be due.  To complete your 2011 Federal Tax Returns, use 2011 Federal Tax Brackets, Standard Deduction Amounts and Personal Exemption Amounts.  Federal Tax Forms for 2011 and more information is found at and at


Standard Deduction for 2012

  • Singles – increase to $5,950
  • Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) – increase to $11,900
  • Head of Household (HH) – increase to $8,700
  • Married Filing Separately (MFS) – increase to $5,950

How Enter: Example – Form 1040, Line 40,  Standard Deduction OR Itemized Deduction:

IRS Tax Form 1040 Page 2


Blind and/or Age 65 or Older

An additional Federal Standard Deduction is allowed

  • Married Filing Jointly – $1,150
  • Single – $1,450

How Enter: Example – Form 1040, line 39a,  Check if 65 or older and/or blind:

Federal Tax Form 1040 Additional Standard Deduction

Personal and Dependent Exemption for 2012

  • Personal and Dependent Exemption – increase to $3,800 per exemption

How Enter: Example – Form 1040, Line 42,  Personal and Dependent Exemptions

Exemptions Form 1040 Page 2, line 42

How Enter: Example – Form 1040, line 6d, Personal and Dependent Exemption Total

Personal and Dependent Exemptions Total Form 1040, Page 1




Federal Income Tax Brackets for 2012

Tax RateSingleMarried Filing Jointly or
Qualified Widow(er)
Head of Household Married Filing Separately
10%$0 - $8,700$0 - $17,400$0 - $12,400$0 – $8,700
15%$8,701 - $35,350$17,401 - $70,700$12,401 - $47,350$8,701 - $35,350
25%$35,301 - $85,650$70,701 - $142,700$47,351 - $122,300$35,351 - $71,350
28%$85,651 - $178,650$142,701 - $217,450$122,301 - $198,050$71,351 - $108,725
33%$178,651 - $388,350$217,451 - $388,350$198,051 - $388,350$108,726 - $194,175
35%Over $388,350Over $388,350Over $388,350Over $194,175


IRS Federal Tax Forms

  • Amazon offers tax software at great prices to make filing your tax return easier.
  • Federal Tax Forms can be found under the Resources tab here at
  • All federal forms for individuals, estates, business, partnerships, etc. is at

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by Monday · comments

categories: Life Hacks,Life News,Money Hacks,News,Tax Return Tips

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

annon 3

Links 1-4 above don’t work

Susie Map, 3

Thanks for letting me know. Hopefully they are working now. I’ll try to spend this weekend checking for more broken links. If anyone runs across some, please shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thanks again.

FP 2

So it is best to stay single?

Susie Map - 3

FP – Being single or married is a big commitment and several factors should be considered. I don’t think my federal tax rate would make it on my top 10 list of things to consider. However, how you both handle finances should be toward the top of your list. Make sure you discuss financial matters before tying the knot. Let me know if you want a couple financial questions to review with your significant other.

Annabel Abrams 4

Very good itemizing – except: what’s the added exemption for over 65?
Even the page doesn’t want to tell!

Susie -, 4

Hi Annabel, thanks for letting me that I overlooked this information. I’ll update this post.

The additional standard deduction for taxpayers who are blind or over age 65 remains unchanged from 2011 – $1,450 for single taxpayers and $1,150 for married taxpayers.

Jenn C 3

Thanks for the info. I have recently bought a house, with my fiance. and, as we are not married yet, for the tax year 2012, we will be claiming the house separately on our taxes. How does this work? Do only one of us get to file as head of household? Also, what is the itemized deduction for 2012 on Schedule A?

Susie -, 3

Hello Jenn, I’m not aware if you have dependents, but the Head of Household filing status is used if you are one of the following:
• single with a dependent residing in your permanent residence
• widowed with a dependent residing in your permanent residence
• married, not filing w/spouse, with a dependent residing with you

As far as itemized deduction for 2012, Schedule A: Unlike a standard deduction, there is no fixed number. Itemized deductions are various types of expenses that taxpayers incur throughout the year. Itemized deductions can be used to reduce taxable income. Example of itemized deductions include the following: Home mortgage interest; Property, state, and local income taxes; Investment interest expense; Medical expenses; and Charitable contributions.

Given the tax complexities of our tax code, you should consult with your tax advisor on what you can and can not deduct.

Canndee Calderone 1

Can alimony I paid be claim on my taxes

Susie -, 2

Canndee – Generally, alimony payments are deductible to the person that paid it. The payer reports it as an adjustment to income on line 32a, IRS Form 1040. This taxpayer will also need to enter the recipient’s social security number on line 32b.

For the person that received the alimony payments, this is considered taxable income and reported on line 11, IRS Form 1040. The IRS does have several rules and exceptions with respect to alimony. IRS Publication 504 has a wealth of information.

As a final note, taxpayers who pay or receive alimony may not use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.

Feel free to contact me if you need more information.

Jim 1

If you are 65 or older, will you receive an additional exemption/deduction/credit if you

and your spouse itemize and your filing status is MFS ?

Susie -, 1

Jim – Yes, Taxpayers age 65 and older (or taxpayers who are blind) receive an additional standard deduction of $1,450 (single or head of household) or $1,150 (married filing jointly, married filing separately or qualifying widow/er). I hope I’ve answered your question. Feel free to let me know if I can offer more information.

Annabel Abrams 2

Where on Schedule A do you enter investment expenses?

Susie -, 2

Hello Annabel – Investment expenses (other than interest expenses) are reported on Schedule A, line 23. List the type and amount of each expense on the dotted lines next to line 23. Deductible investment interest expense is reported on Schedule A, line 14.

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