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Your money Q&A: What's the standard deduction?


What are the standard deduction and personal exemption amounts for 2010?
-Mildred, Boca Raton

There’s only one change from last year. The head of household standard deduction goes up $50 to $8,400. The rest of the standard deductions remain the same -- $11,400 for married couples filing jointly, $5,700 for singles and married filing separately.

Each personal exemption is worth $3,650.

But note: You cannot take an additional standard deduction for real property taxes. This expired last year and was not extended in the Tax Relief Act of 2010.

And one more caution: “I can understand taxpayers are eager to file their returns so they can get their refunds early,” said IRS spokesman Michael Dobzinski. “Whether you are using e-file or paper, wait for your W-2s to file. Employers have until Jan. 31 to provide W-2s.”
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Need help with a money problem?
Columnist Harriet Johnson Brackey is working with South Florida financial advisors to get answers. Submit your questions at SunSentinel.com/moneyquestion or call 954-356-4628. To see previous questions, visit SunSentinel.com/PersonalFinanceQandA


Categories: Personal finance questions and answers (36)
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About the author
You've got the job of managing your money. No one in school taught you how. But you and I, we can teach each other, how to handle it, how to save for retirement, how to make money last, how to educate the kids, how to make a budget work. The conversations I have with my readers are fun. Money's important, but discussing it does not have to be boring.

Harriet Johnson Brackey Harriet Johnson Brackey, the personal finance columnist for the Sun Sentinel, is an award-winning business reporter. Her columns for 2008 were named "The Best in the Business," a national award chosen by her colleagues at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Brackey has worked at Business Week magazine and at USA TODAY, where she was a founder and part of the original staff of the Money section at the country's first national newspaper. After nearly 11 years there - spent covering the 1980s bull market, the insider trading scandals, the 1987 crash - Brackey left Washington, D.C., and came to The Miami Herald. She spent the next decade writing a column about personal finance that chronicled the stock market's Internet boom and bust, as well as the popular Money Makeover features.

Brackey also has done commentaries for Marketplace Money, which airs on National Public Radio and The Nightly Business Report which is broadcast on more than 250 PBS television stations nationwide. She also has been a radio guest on WLRN’s Miami Herald News.
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