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But-I-digress
Level 3

What do I do with charitable donations and medical expenses if I know they are going to be less than the standard deduction this year?

We have quite a number of charitable donations about which we're being asked "do these still apply?"  Many of them do, but because of the doubling of the standard deduction (in 2018?) and the fact that a significant amount of our medical spending was through our HSA this year, which it hadn't been previously, I don't think we'll have enough of those + medical expenses to itemize.  Am I supposed to mark them all as "no," even though in another year or two I might need them again and would like them all to stay with our information?   I really, really don't want to take the time to add them all up, especially because I wasn't as meticulous as usual in keeping records, thinking I wouldn't need them for the reasons listed above.  Please help.   What about medical expenses that weren't paid for via our HSA but also won't be enough to itemize?
3 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

What do I do with charitable donations and medical expenses if I know they are going to be less than the standard deduction this year?

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.**
SweetieJean
Level 15

What do I do with charitable donations and medical expenses if I know they are going to be less than the standard deduction this year?

Other states may differ.  NJ, for example,  allows Medical deductions, but not Charitable.

But-I-digress
Level 3

What do I do with charitable donations and medical expenses if I know they are going to be less than the standard deduction this year?

Almost positive that the only charitable donations that are worth anything in my state are ones made to colleges and universities. Medical expenses aren't--I wish.

I'm unclear as to the practical way to do this, though. Should I not have started with Deluxe if I don't need a Schedule A?  Right now, it's throwing every place we donated to last year at me saying, "did you donate to this place again this year?" with a yes or no option.  Some we did, some we didn't, but I'm not remotely interested in going back and looking up everything to fill it in with accurate  numbers when they won't make any difference.  Same with medical expenses, which were substantial, but at the recommendation of our financial advisor, we maxed out our HSA, which will also keep us below the need for Schedule A.  I'm sure when I get that far, they're going to ask me for medical expenses, too, but I kept much less organized records of those than I did of the charitable donations.  My husband suggested I put "$1" for each charity to which we still donated, otherwise they'll be removed from the list, and when the tax cut bill disappears, I will need many of them again.  We probably had about 20 different places we gave to last year.

Kind of the same with medical.  Do I put "zero" for our expenses (not accurate) and fill in whatever our form says for HSA distribution? 

I guess the basic question is, is there a way to tell the software, "l don't want/need to itemize this year?"  I was thinking this all going to be easier, not harder.    Do I need a TurboTax employee to reply to this??


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