skip navigation
Search Help
Navigation Help

Tax Map Index
ABCDEFGHI
JKLMNOPQR
STUVWXYZ#

International
Tax Topic Index

Affordable Care Act
Tax Topic Index

Exempt Organization
Tax Topic Index

FAQs
Forms
Publications
Tax Topics
Worksheets

Comments
About Tax Map

IRS.gov Website
Rev. date: 12/2/2016


Should I Itemize?

Tax Topic 501
rule
There are two ways you can take deductions on your federal income tax return: you can itemize deductions or use the standard deduction. Deductions reduce the amount of your taxable income.
The standard deduction amount varies depending on your income, age, and filing status and changes each year; see How Much Is My Standard Deduction? and Tax Topic 551 for more information.
Certain taxpayers can't use the standard deduction:
You should itemize deductions if your allowable itemized deductions are greater than your standard deduction or if you must itemize deductions because you can't use the standard deduction.
You may be able to reduce your tax by itemizing deductions on Form 1040 (Schedule A), Itemized Deductions. Itemized deductions include amounts you paid for state and local income or sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, and disaster losses. You may also include gifts to charity and part of the amount you paid for medical and dental expenses. You would usually benefit by itemizing on Form 1040 (Schedule A), if you:
Your itemized deductions may be limited and your total itemized deductions may be phased out (reduced) if your adjusted gross income for 2016 exceeds the following threshold amounts for your filing status:
Refer to the Instructions 1040 (Schedule A) for the limitation amounts.
Use the Itemized Deductions Worksheet-Line 29 in the Instructions 1040 (Schedule A) to determine if you're 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.) or Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals. You may also refer to Tax Topic 551 and Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.