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Quick Tax Deduction Calculation

Last Minute Tax Tip: Quick Deduction Calculation


The deadline for filing your tax return is tomorrow, April 15. You haven't time to spare toying with elaborate calculations, so use this simple test to determine whether you should take the standard tax deduction or itemize your deductions.

Bob Scharin, senior tax analyst from Thomson Reuters' Tax & Accounting business, recommends concentrating on four figures: mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and the amount of state and local tax withheld (if your state doesn't have income tax, substitute the sales tax deduction amount found on the IRS website).

If the total of these four numbers is less than the standard deduction, opt for the standard deduction amount on your tax return. If the total is more than the standard amount, you're better off itemizing your deductions.

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