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bullzi
New Member

If I itemize deductions on Federal tax returns, is it possible to use standard deduction on my state tax returns (California)?

I am a California resident, and my spouse and I plan to file our tax returns as Married Filing Separately. We plan to itemize deductions as that helps us save money on our Federal taxes. 

Is it possible for us to use standard deduction on our state (CA) returns? 

We know that, as per IRS rules, on Federal returns, both spouses need to either use itemize deductions or use standard deductions. Its incorrect if one itemizes and the other uses standard deduction. 

Similarly, as per FTB rules, on California returns, both need to either use itemize or standard deductions. 

But my question is: Is it correct for both of us to itemize deductions on Federal but use standard deduction on state returns. 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
MichaelMc
New Member

If I itemize deductions on Federal tax returns, is it possible to use standard deduction on my state tax returns (California)?

It appears that the decision to itemize or take the standard deduction on your California state income tax return is independent of the decision to itemize or take the standard deduction on your federal income tax return. 

The CA FTB Instructions: Form 540 https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2016/16_540ins.pdf, page 11, address the procedure to be followed if itemizing on the CA return after having chosen to take the standard deduction on the federal return, but are silent as to the converse. There is no clear prohibition against itemizing on the federal, then taking the standard deduction on the CA return.

As you have already noted, the CA requirement for spouses filing separately mirrors the federal requirement: "If married/or an RDP and ling separate tax returns, you and your spouse/RDP must either both itemize your deductions (even if the itemized deductions of one spouse/RDP are less than the standard deduction) or both take the standard deduction."

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4 Replies
MichaelMc
New Member

If I itemize deductions on Federal tax returns, is it possible to use standard deduction on my state tax returns (California)?

It appears that the decision to itemize or take the standard deduction on your California state income tax return is independent of the decision to itemize or take the standard deduction on your federal income tax return. 

The CA FTB Instructions: Form 540 https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2016/16_540ins.pdf, page 11, address the procedure to be followed if itemizing on the CA return after having chosen to take the standard deduction on the federal return, but are silent as to the converse. There is no clear prohibition against itemizing on the federal, then taking the standard deduction on the CA return.

As you have already noted, the CA requirement for spouses filing separately mirrors the federal requirement: "If married/or an RDP and ling separate tax returns, you and your spouse/RDP must either both itemize your deductions (even if the itemized deductions of one spouse/RDP are less than the standard deduction) or both take the standard deduction."

If I itemize deductions on Federal tax returns, is it possible to use standard deduction on my state tax returns (California)?

Would be nice to add the recipe to do this in TurboTax.  My version asks this question only once, and uses the same result for both Federal and State.  My only workaround is to use "Override" in the form input method. Is there a different or better way?

If I itemize deductions on Federal tax returns, is it possible to use standard deduction on my state tax returns (California)?

I have to do this workaround too and have not found another way.
jjohnson1
New Member

If I itemize deductions on Federal tax returns, is it possible to use standard deduction on my state tax returns (California)?

I have the same exact problem
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