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Itemized Deductions

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Itemized Deductions

(Form 1040 Line 40, and Schedule A)

Like the various adjustments to income (lines 23 to 36), itemized deductions provide a way for you to convert your otherwise taxable income into nontaxable income provided that you spend your money on various tax-privileged items. You can deduct from taxable income any money you spend on health care, state and local taxes, mortgage interest, charitable donations, and tax preparation fees. Covering the various ins-and-outs of itemizing can get rather detailed, but here's the big picture.

First, get out a Schedule A (PDF). This is the form where you tally up your various tax deductions item by item. What we want to look at is all the categories of things you can spend your money on and receive a deduction on your tax return.

You can claim an itemized deduction for:

More detailed instructions for each type of deduction can be found in the Instructions for Schedule A.

Itemized deductions are sometimes limited to a certain threshold amount. And your overall total itemized deductions may be limited.

Tax Forms and Instructions from the Internal Revenue Service:

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