A flat amount you can take out of your taxes. You can either choose to take a “standard deduction” or an “itemized deduction” to reduce your tax bill (but not both). If you choose the “standard deduction,” it makes doing your taxes a whole lot simpler because you don’t have to save every receipt. You just write the amount down ($6,200 for single people in 2015) with no questions asked. This might be for you if you don’t have a mortgage or have a lot of medical or business expenses that would act as good “itemized deductions.” (See also: Itemized Deductions)
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