Table of Contents
Expired tax benefits. At the time this publication was prepared for printing, Congress was considering legislation that would extend certain tax benefits that had expired at the end of 2014. These included the deductions for state and local general sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes, mortgage insurance premiums, educator expenses, and tuition and fees. To see whether the legislation was enacted, go to www.irs.gov/pub17.
This chapter discusses the overall limit on itemized deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). The following topics are included.
Who is subject to the limit.
Which itemized deductions are limited.
How to figure the limit.
Forms (and Instructions)
Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions
You are subject to the limit on certain itemized deductions if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is more than $309,900 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er), $284,050 if head of household, $258,250 if single, or $154,950 if married filing separately. Your AGI is the amount on Form 1040, line 38.
The following Schedule A (Form 1040) deductions are subject to the overall limit on itemized deductions.
Taxes paid—line 9.
Interest paid*—lines 10, 11, and 12.
Gifts to charity—line 19.
Job expenses and certain miscellaneous deductions—line 27.
Other miscellaneous deductions—line 28, excluding gambling and casualty or theft losses.
The following Schedule A (Form 1040) deductions aren't subject to the overall limit on itemized deductions. However, they are still subject to other applicable limits.
Medical and dental expenses—line 4.
Investment interest expense—line 14.
Casualty and theft losses of personal use property—line 20.
Casualty and theft losses of income-producing property—line 28.
Gambling losses—line 28.
If your itemized deductions are subject to the limit, the total of all your itemized deductions is reduced by the smaller of:
80% of your itemized deductions that are affected by the limit. See Which Itemized Deductions Are Limited , earlier, or
3% of the amount by which your AGI exceeds $309,900 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er), $284,050 if head of household, $258,250 if single, or $154,950 if married filing separately.
Before you figure the overall limit on itemized deductions, you first must complete Schedule A (Form 1040), lines 1 through 28, including any related forms (such as Form 2106, Form 4684, etc.).
The overall limit on itemized deductions is figured after you have applied any other limit on the allowance of any itemized deduction. These other limits include charitable contribution limits (chapter 24), the limit on certain meal and entertainment expenses (chapter 26), and the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit on certain miscellaneous deductions (chapter 28).
For tax year 2015 Bill and Terry Willow are filing a joint return on Form 1040. Their adjusted gross income on line 38 is $325,500. Their Schedule A itemized deductions are as follows:
|Taxes paid—line 9||$17,900|
|Interest paid*—lines 10, 11, and 12||45,000|
|Investment interest expense—line 14||41,000|
|Gifts to charity—line 19||21,000|
|Job expenses—line 27||17,240|
|* If Congress extends the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, any amount included on line 13 will be included in the total amount of interest paid.|
The Willows’ investment interest expense deduction ($41,000 from Schedule A (Form 1040), line 14) isn't subject to the overall limit on itemized deductions. The Willows use the Itemized Deductions Worksheet in the Schedule A (Form 1040) instructions to figure their overall limit. Of their $142,140 total itemized deductions, the Willows can deduct only $141,672 ($142,140 - $468). They enter $141,672 on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 29.
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