Which Saves You More: Standard or Itemized Deductions?

When you file your taxes, you can choose to either use the standard allowable IRS deductions, or to itemize your deductions. Which method you choose to reap the biggest savings depends on how much you've spent on certain expenses last year.

Expenses That Are Tax Deductible

If you paid for medical care, mortgage interest, taxes, charitable contributions, causality losses, or various allowable business expenses- you can reduce the amount of you'll owe the IRS after you file. Basically, if the total amount of money you've spent in the categories I've listed is more than the standard deductions, you're better off itemizing your deductions to save money. 

Standard Deduction for 2010

The IRS's standard deduction amounts are based on your filing status and are adjusted every year. For 2010, the standard deductions are:

- Filing Single: $5,700
- Married Filing Jointly: $11,400
- Head of Household: $8,400
- Married Filing Separately: $5,700
- Qualifying Widow(er) $11,400

Choose the Right one for You

Add up the eligible expenses you've made during 2010, and if what you've spent this year is more than the 2010 standard deduction, consider itemizing your deductions to reap the maximum amount of savings on your taxes that are possible. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by doing this. It can really be worth the effort in the end.