We automatically select the deduction that gives you the best outcome on your federal taxes. This year, we estimate that close to 90% of federal tax filers will be better off with the higher standard deduction, up from approximately 70% last year.
In TurboTax, you can always switch to a different deduction. However, if you and your spouse are filing separate federal returns, both of you must take the same deduction per IRS rules.
Tip: It's best to hold off on switching until after you've finished going through the Deductions & Credits section. That way you can get an accurate picture of how both deductions affect your bottom line. Also, keep in mind that switching to the other federal deduction may impact your state tax return.
The screen where you can make the switch will look like this (most common title pictured; other titles on this screen include We've Chosen Itemized Deductions for You and Standard Deduction vs. Itemized Deductions:(
To find it, be sure you're signed in and that your return is open. You should see 2018 TAXES in your left-hand menu as pictured above (if not, tap or click the upper-left corner to expand the menu or select Take me to my return).
Once your return is open:
If you come to a different screen after selecting Deductions & Credits in Step 3 above, follow the alternate instructions based on the title of your screen.
Screen title: Great! We’ve got your tax breaks covered
Screen title: You’re getting the maximum refund possible or Let’s review your tax breaks
Many (but not all) states let you take a different deduction than what you took on the federal.
We have no universal instructions on how to change your state deduction, so we recommend going through your state tax program from the beginning. Look for a screen that asks which deduction you want to take, assuming your state tax laws allow this. The exact placement of this screen varies by state, but most likely you'll find it at the beginning of the interview or right before the deductions section.