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Tax Topic Index

Tax Topics

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Rev. date: 11/27/2013

Should I Itemize?

Tax Topic 501
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.
You cannot use the standard deduction if:In addition, an estate or trust, common trust fund, or partnership cannot use the standard deduction. For additional information, refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
You may benefit from itemizing your deductions on Form 1040 (Schedule A) if you:
You may be subject to limitations on some of your itemized deductions. Please refer to the Instructions 1040 (General Inst.) (PDF) or Instructions 1040 (Schedule A) (PDF) for the limitation amounts. In addition to these limits, beginning in 2013, your total itemized deductions may be phased out (reduced) if your adjusted gross income exceeds the following threshold amounts for your filing status:
Use the Itemized Deductions Worksheet-Line 29 in the Form 1040, Schedule A Instructions to determine if you are subject to the phaseout on itemized deductions. For more information on the difference between itemized deductions and the standard deduction, refer to the Instructions 1040 (General Inst.) (PDF), or Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals. You may also refer to Tax Topic 551 and Publication 501.