Instructions for 1040 Form Line 39a

Line 39a on IRS Form 1040 increases the standard tax deduction.

When preparing your federal tax return using Form 1040 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you will be given an opportunity to increase your standard deduction by checking the applicable boxes on Line 39a. These additional tax deductions are available to taxpayers and their spouses who are age 65 or over and to those who are totally or partly blind in one or both eyes. For each box checked, an additional $1,150 will be added to your 2012 standard deduction.

Step 1

Check the upper-left-side box on Line 39a if the first person listed on the tax return was born before Jan. 2, 1948. If you are preparing a tax return for a year other than 2012, check this box if the person was 65 before Jan. 2 on the year following the tax return you are preparing.

Step 2

The elderly enjoy a higher standard deduction.

Check the lower-left-side box on Line 39a if the second person listed on the tax return was born before Jan. 2, 1948, if filing a joint return. If you are preparing a tax return for a year other than 2012, check this box if the person was 65 before Jan. 2 on the year following the tax return you are preparing.

Step 3

Check the upper-right-side box on Line 39a if the first person listed on the tax return is totally or partly blind in at least one eye. Partial blindness is defined as being unable to see better than 20/200 with glasses or contact lenses or having a field of vision of not more than 20 degrees. A certified statement from an eye doctor or registered optometrist substantiating the blindness is required for your records.

Step 4

The blind receive a higher standard deduction.

Check the lower-right-side box on Line 39a if the second person listed on the tax return is totally or partly blind in at least one eye if filing a joint return.

Step 5

Add the number of boxes checked on Line 39a and put the total in the large box at the far right of the line.

Warning

If the blindness is permanent the certified statement should indicate this. Otherwise, a new certified letter will be required for each tax year.

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