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Itemized Deductions

Generally, you must decide whether to itemize deductions or to use the standard deduction. The standard deduction is a dollar amount that reduces the amount of income on which you are taxed. You should itemize deductions if your allowable itemized deductions are greater than your standard deduction. Some taxpayers must itemize deductions because they cannot use the standard deduction.

When not to use Standard Deduction?

You cannot use the standard deduction if:

  • You are married filing as married filing separately, and your spouse itemizes deductions,
  • You are filing a tax return for a period of less than 12 months because of a change in your annual accounting method, or
  • You are a nonresident alien or a dual-status alien during the year. (If you are a nonresident alien who is married to a U.S. citizen or resident at the end of the year, you can choose to be treated as a U.S. resident. If you make this choice, you can take the standard deduction.

Should I Itemize?

You may benefit from itemizing your deductions if you:

  • Cannot use the standard deduction
  • Had large uninsured medical and dental expenses
  • Paid interest or taxes on your home
  • Had large unreimbursed employee business expenses
  • Had large uninsured casualty or theft losses, or
  • Made large charitable contributions

Qualifying Expenditures

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