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IRS.gov Website
Rev. date: 01/01/2011


Should I Itemize?

Tax Topic 501
rule
Generally, you must decide whether to itemize deductions or to use the standard deduction. The standard deduction is a dollar amount that reduces the amount of income on which you are taxed. You should itemize deductions if your allowable itemized deductions are greater than your standard deduction. Some taxpayers must itemize deductions because they cannot use the standard deduction.
You cannot use the standard deduction if:In addition an estate or trust, common trust fund, or partnership cannot use the standard deduction. For additional information, refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
You may benefit from itemizing your deductions on Schedule A if you:
You may be subject to limitations on some of your itemized deductions. Please refer to the Instructions 1040 (General Inst.) or Form 1040, Schedule A Instructions for the limitation amounts.For 2010, taxpayers with adjusted gross income above a certain amount will no longer lose part of their itemized deductions.
For more information on the difference between itemized deductions and the standard deduction, refer to the Instructions 1040 (General Inst.), or Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. You may also refer to Tax Topic 551 and Publication 501.