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Itemized interest on mortgage

Can I itemize the interest on my house and receive more refund if I filed married jointly?

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Itemized interest on mortgage

Mortgage interest paid is an itemized deduction on Schedule A.


The total of all your itemized deductions on Schedule A must be greater than the standard deduction for your filing status to have any tax benefit.


Standard deductions for 2023

Single - $13,850 add $1,850 if age 65 or older
Married Filing Separately - $13,850 add $1,500 if age 65 or older
Married Filing Jointly - $27,700 add $1,500 for each spouse age 65 or older
Head of Household - $20,800 add $1,850 if age 65 or older

Itemized interest on mortgage

We cannot see any of your information.   We do not know if you have enough itemized deductions to exceed your standard deduction.   You are really asking about two issues----filing a joint return, and entering itemized deductions.




If you were legally married at the end of 2023 your filing choices are married filing jointly or married filing separately.


Married Filing Jointly is usually better, even if one spouse had little or no income. When you file a joint return, you and your spouse will get the married filing jointly standard deduction of $27,700 (+$1500 for each spouse 65 or older)  You are eligible for more credits including education credits, earned income credit, child and dependent care credit, and a larger income limit to receive the child tax credit. 


If you choose to file married filing separately, both spouses have to file the same way—either you both itemize or you both use standard deduction. Your tax rate will be higher than on a joint return.


 Some of the special rules for filing separately include: you cannot get earned income credit, education credits, adoption credits, or deductions for student loan interest. A higher percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Your limit for SALT (state and local taxes and sales tax) will be only $5000 per spouse. In many cases you will not be able to take the child and dependent care credit. The amount you can contribute to a retirement account will be affected. If you live in a community property state, you will be required to provide additional information regarding your spouse’s income. ( Community property states:  AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI)


 If  you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice since with online, you get one return per fee.









Many taxpayers are surprised because their itemized deductions are not having the same effect as they did on past tax returns.  The new higher standard deduction and the elimination of certain deductions, as well as the cap on state and local taxes have had a major impact since the new tax laws went into effect beginning with 2018 returns.


Your itemized deductions have to be more than your standard deduction before you will see a change in your tax owed or tax refund.  The deductions you enter do not necessarily count “dollar for dollar;” many of them are subject to meeting  tough thresholds—medical expenses, for example, must meet a threshold that is pretty hard to reach. (Only the amount that is MORE than 7.5% of your AGI counts)   The software program uses all the IRS rules that apply to the expenses you enter, and it tells you if you have enough to use your itemized deductions or if using the standard deduction is more advantageous for you.  Under the new tax laws, some deductions have been capped—there is a $10,000 limit to the itemized deductions for state, local, property and sales taxes.


Your standard deduction lowers your taxable income. The standard deduction makes some of your income “tax free.”  It is not a refund.  You will see your standard or itemized deduction amount on line 12 of your 2023 Form 1040.







SINGLE $13,850  (65 or older/legally blind + $1850)


MARRIED FILING SEPARATELY $13,850  (65 or older/legally blind + $1500)


MARRIED FILING JOINTLY $27,700  (65+/legally blind) )  + $1500 per spouse


HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD  $20,800 (65 or older/blind)  + $1850)



**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
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