A tax deduction is a sum that you can deduct from your taxable income in order to reduce the amount of taxes you owe. You can take the standard deduction (a single fixed-amount deduction) or itemized deductions on Schedule A of your income tax return.
It makes sense to itemize if the sum of your itemized expenses exceeds the standard deduction for your filing status. Mortgage interest, charity contributions, unreimbursed medical expenses, and state and local taxes are all itemized deductions.
Some of the most popular tax deductions that you can claim on your federal income tax return are as follows:
- You can receive interest deductions of up to $2,500 on student loans.
- Mortgage interest on up to $750,000 in secured house mortgage debt ($1 million if purchased before to December 16, 2017)
- Contributions to a regular IRA, 401(k), or another qualified retirement plan, up to annual restrictions
- You can deduct state and local taxes of a maximum of $10,000.
- Contributions to a health savings account, subject to annual limitations
- Expenses for medical and dental care that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income
- Self-employment costs, including the home office deduction and the deduction for health insurance premiums
- Donations to charities
- Losses on investments
- Gambling blunders
Here's an example. Imagine a single taxpayer with an earned income of $90,000 in 2022. This places the individual in the 24% tax bracket. Therefore their tax payment for tax year 2022 would be $15,213.50 plus 24% of the excess over $89,075 ($925), for a total of $15,435.50 ($15,213.50 + $222). This individual, like all taxpayers, has the option of itemizing or taking the standard deduction.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 abolished or limited some once-common tax deductions (TCJA). You can no longer deduct the following items—at least until 2025, when the act is set to expire:
- Interest on a home equity loan (unless you spent the money to improve the home)
- Mortgage interest on secured mortgage debt in excess of $750,000
- Work expenses that have not been reimbursed
- State and municipal taxes in excess of $5,000 (or $10,000 for a married couple)
- Professional society dues
- Moving charges (except for military personnel)
- Losses due to casualties and theft (except in federally declared disaster areas)
- The individual exemption
- Tax preparation charges
- Payments for alimony
- Itemized deductions for "Miscellaneous"
- Tax deductions reduce the amount of tax you owe by deducting them from your taxable income.
- On Schedule A of Form 1040 or 1040-SR, you can take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions.
- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) substantially increased the standard deduction and boosted a number of other tax breaks.
- Many itemized deductions, like the mortgage interest deduction, were also removed or curtailed by the TCJA.
- Keep receipts to substantiate your spending if you itemize your deductions.