Can I treat qualified dividends as ordinary income if it's more advantageous for me to do so? In my case, I need to ordinary income to offset investment interest, and it's better for me fully offset my dividends with investment interest expense than to pay capital gains rates on qualified dividends.
No, you have to treat dividends as they are reported on your Form 1099-DIV. If your dividends are qualified dividends then you have to report then as qualified dividends on your tax return.
Nonqualified dividends are taxed at ordinary income rates, while qualified dividends receive more favorable tax treatment by being taxed at capital gains rates.
[Edited 04/05/2019 | 3:59 pm PDT]