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:
- Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses
- Form 2106-EZ, Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
- Instructions for Form 2106
- Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions
- Instructions for Form 8283
- Pub 535, Business Expenses
- Pub 526, Charitable Contributions
- Pub 529, Miscellaneous Deductions
- Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax
- Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education
- Pub 2194 Disaster Losses Kit for Individuals
- Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses
- Publication 547,Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts
- Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
- Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets
- Pub 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook
- Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property
- Publication 530, Tax Information for First-Time Homeowners
- Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses
- Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information