Itemized deductions

Standard Deduction claimed on Form 1040

  • Individuals may claim a standard deduction of $12,400.
  • Married couples filing together, jointly may claim $24,800.
  • Individuals filing as a head of household may claim $18,650.
  • Older individuals or blind individuals get an extra $1,300 or $1,650, depending on filing status.
  • Most everyone can also deduct up to $300 of their charity donations.
  • Teachers and educators can deduct up to $250 of amounts they paid out-of-pocket for their classroom expenses.

Itemized Deductions claimed on Schedule A

If you have a list that totals more than the generous standard deduction, then you may use Schedule A.

  • Up to $10,000 for SALT (state and local taxes) which is a combination of property taxes plus your choice of either state and local income taxes or state and local sales taxes. (if married filing separately then this is limited to $5,000)
  • Charity donations of money or other property with a monetary value and travel @ 14¢/mile plus parking and tolls.
  • Health care is a bit more complex limiting the deduction to only the amount greater than 7.5% or 10% of AGI. With special rules for contributions to an HSA, employee plan health insurance. self-employed health insurance, long-term care insurance, long-term nursing home costs and travel @ 17¢/mile plus parking and tolls.
  • Gambling wagers and losses, limited to the amount of gambling winnings.
  • Interest paid to buy taxable investments. (using cash tracing rules to make sure that the borrowings were indeed used for the investments)
  • Interest paid to buy into an ownership position at the place where you are employed.
  • Student loan interest.
  • If married filing separately then one spouse may not claim the standard deduction if the other spouse itemizes.