In most cases, filers should pick the deduction amount that is the largest as it will lower their taxes owed the most.
Generally, if a filer owns a house and pays mortgage interest and real estate tax, there’s a good chance they have enough deductions to itemize. This means the total of their itemized deductions exceeds the standard deduction dollar amount for their tax situation.
The standard deduction is a fixed dollar amount and varies according to an individual’s filing status. In 2016, the standard deduction is:
- $6,300 for single or married filing separately
- $12,600 for married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)
- $9,300 for head of household
Check out this blog post for more information on why you may want to itemize your deductions.