Question: CanI itemize my deductions this year?
Answer: If you have enough personal expenses, you may save income taxes if you itemize your deductions. Compare your itemized deductions with the standard deduction for your filing status, and use the larger of the two.
Itemized deductions include the following:
- Medical expenses - only to the extent they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. Different rules apply for age 65 and older.
- Taxes - this includes state and local taxes, real estate taxes, and personal property taxes.
- Interest you pay - such as home mortgage interest, certain points, and investment interest. Tish is limited to $10,000.
- Charitable gifts - this includes gifts of both cash and property.
- Casualty and theft losses in federally declared disaster areas - above certain thresholds.
The standard deduction is indexed annually for inflation. Here are the standard deduction amounts for 2018 and 2019.
|Joint returns & surviving spouses|
|Married filing separately|
|Head of household|
In 2020, each married taxpayer over age 65 or legally blind receives an additional $1,300 deduction. Singles receive an additional $1,650 deduction.
So will you itemize? Probably yes if you are:
- Own a home
- Have high medical bills
- Donate a lot to charity