Who Should Itemize?

Usually, you will be the one to decide whether you want to use itemized deduction or standard deduction.

Some choose to itemize deductions if their allowable itemized deduction amounts to more than the standard deduction. Others do so because they are not qualified for standard deduction.

Standard deductions do not apply to the following:

  • Non-resident aliens
  • Dual-status citizens
  • Taxpayers who file returns for a period of less than 12 months

For couples who file separate returns, they should either both use itemized deduction, or both use the standard deduction. Read IRS Publication 501, for more details on Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

What Are Itemized Deductions?

Itemized deductions are tax deductions derived from certain expenses. They are categorized as:

  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Job expenses
  • State and local income taxes, or sales tax
  • Home mortgage and investment interest
  • Real estate and personal property taxes
  • Charitable contributions
  • Casualty and theft losses
  • Miscellaneous deductions

Limitations on Itemized Deductions

The itemized deductions are subject to limits based on the adjusted gross income (AGI). The amounts of limitations can be found on IRS Form 1040 Instructions (PDF).

Visit the IRS website for more information:

IRS Form 1040, Schedule A and B (PDF)

IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax

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