For 2018 - 2020 many taxpayers that itemized in the past will find that they can no longer itemize because the standard deduction has doubled so all of their itemized deduction s no longer exceed the standard deduction.
Only if all itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction will it be of benefit.
Not all itemized deductions count the full amount. Medical expenses are reduced by 7.5% of AGI so if your AGI is $30,000, for example, then only medical expenses more than $2,250 would be an itemized deduction.
The 2018 tax law also caps the total of Sales tax OR State and local income tax, Property (real estate and personal property) taxes at $10,000.
Mortgage interest on loans after Dec 16, 2017 may be limited.
The Mortgage must be secured by the property to qualify.
Interest on home equity loans and lines of credit are deductible only if the borrowed funds are used to buy, build, or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan.
You can check the actual amount of itemized deductions by using the Search Topics for "itemized deductions, choosing" (under "My Account, Tools" in the online versions). Click on "Change my deduction". That will display the actual amount of itemized deductions vs. the standard deduction. (Be sure to uncheck "Change my deduction" after checking it so you do not lock in the wrong deduction.
2020 standard deductions
$18,650 Head of Household
$24,800 Married Jointly
Add an additional $1,300 for over age 65 or blind
This amount increases to $1,650 if the taxpayer is also unmarried.
Some itemized deductions are limited in their deductible amounts. So the total of the deductions may be less than entered. After entering your deductions TurboTax will automatically determine which is best for your tax filing.
Your expenses in certain categories must cross various thresholds in order to itemize. For example, your medical and dental expenses are only deductible to the extent they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2020.
Also, the basic rule is that your contributions to qualified public charities, colleges and religious groups can't exceed 60 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) (100% of AGI in 2020 for qualified charities).
- The caps are a bit lower for gifts to other types of nonprofits. When it comes to gifts of appreciated property, the limit drops to 30 percent of AGI.
- If these restrictions limit your write-off in the year of the gift, the excess deduction carries over to the next year.
Donating used goods such as clothing, linens, electronics, appliances and furniture gets you a write-off for the item's fair market value at the time you donated it, which may be considerably less than what you originally paid.