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Should I itemize?

You should itemize deductions if your total deductions are more than the standard deduction amount. 

Also, if your standard deduction is zero, you should itemize any deductions you have if:

  • You are married and filing a separate return, and your spouse itemizes deductions,
  • You are filing a tax return for a short tax year because of a change in your annual accounting period, or
  • You are a nonresident or dual-status alien during the year. You are considered a dual-status alien if you were both a nonresident and resident alien during the year.

NOTE: 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. (See Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.) If you make this choice, you can take the standard deduction.

You may benefit from itemizing your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you:

  • Paid interest and taxes on your home,
  • Had large uninsured casualty or theft losses,
  • Made large contributions to qualified charities, or
  • Had large uninsured medical and dental expenses during the year,
  • Do not qualify for the standard deduction, or the amount you can claim is limited,
  • Had large unreimbursed employee business expenses or other miscellaneous deductions,
  • Have total itemized deductions that are more than the standard deduction to which you otherwise are entitled.

Helpful Forms and Publications:

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 30-Dec-2014