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DenverDad
Level 2

Standard Deduction or Not

For the last several years, TurboTax recommends that I file standard deductions.  This is after a long filing session with them.  My financial situation hasn't changed much other than I am now retired.  I get Social Security and my wife and I both get small retirement benefits.  We have the usual mortgage interest and tax stuff and get a small income from some stocks we own.  Nothing has changed from that.  Should I skip going through all the TurboTax questions this year and go Standard Deductions, saving some tax preparation fees?

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Accepted Solutions
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Standard Deduction or Not

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.  It is not a refund.  You will see your standard or itemized deduction amount on line 12 of your 2020 Form 1040.

 

 

2020 Standard Deduction Amounts

 

Single $12,400   (+ $1650 65 or older)

Married Filing Separate  $12,400   (+ $1300 if 65 or older)

Married Filing Jointly $24,800   (+ $1300 for each spouse 65 or older)

Head of Household $18,650  (+ $1650 for 65 or older)

 

 

If you want to skip entering your itemized deductions you can do that.  Many people will not have enough itemized deductions this year to itemize, and will just be getting their new higher standard deduction.  The thing is, though, that some of those deductions could make a difference on a state return even if they do not affect your federal return.  Information flows from your federal return to your state return, so it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and enter them anyhow.  It cannot hurt you.

 

The following states allow you to itemize deductions on just the state return: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin, 

 

**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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2 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Standard Deduction or Not

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.  It is not a refund.  You will see your standard or itemized deduction amount on line 12 of your 2020 Form 1040.

 

 

2020 Standard Deduction Amounts

 

Single $12,400   (+ $1650 65 or older)

Married Filing Separate  $12,400   (+ $1300 if 65 or older)

Married Filing Jointly $24,800   (+ $1300 for each spouse 65 or older)

Head of Household $18,650  (+ $1650 for 65 or older)

 

 

If you want to skip entering your itemized deductions you can do that.  Many people will not have enough itemized deductions this year to itemize, and will just be getting their new higher standard deduction.  The thing is, though, that some of those deductions could make a difference on a state return even if they do not affect your federal return.  Information flows from your federal return to your state return, so it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and enter them anyhow.  It cannot hurt you.

 

The following states allow you to itemize deductions on just the state return: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin, 

 

**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.**

View solution in original post

DenverDad
Level 2

Standard Deduction or Not

Thank you very much!

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