1. Standard deductions increased
Around 60 percent of tax filers take the standard deduction rather than itemizing, according to the IRS. The basic standard deduction has been increased for 2009.
The standard deduction for married couples filing a joint return is $11,400, which is $500 more than 2008. For single filers (and married people filing separately) the standard deduction is $5,700, a $250 jump. And for heads of household, the new standard deduction is $8,350, up $350 from 2008.