The common tax deductions for 2015 are the standard deduction and deductions for mortgage interests, charitable contributions and retirement contributions, reports the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers can take the standard deduction if they do not itemize their deductions. Alternatively, taxpayers can itemize to take advantage of the other deductions.
The standard deduction is a fixed amount adjusted for inflation each year. Additional deductions are available if a taxpayer is age 65 or older, is blind, has a spouse who is of age 65 or older, or has a spouse who is blind, explains the IRS.
When itemizing deductions, taxpayers can deduct qualified mortgage interest and points reported on Form 1098 by a lender. Homeowners can also deduct property taxes and real estate taxes on Schedule A of Form 1040, notes the IRS.
Taxpayers can deduct on Schedule A charitable contributions made to qualified organizations. They can deduct cash contributions and the fair market values of articles donated to these organizations. If a taxpayer receives any services in return for the contribution, he can only deduct the value that exceeds the fair market value of such services, explains the IRS. Taxpayers may also be able to deduct contributions to retirement plans, such as a traditional IRA account, up to a set limit.