Who should itemize?
As discussed previously, some taxpayers are required to itemize. Taxpayers should take the higher of the standard deduction or the itemized expenses deduction if they are not required to itemize.
In general, taxpayers benefit from itemizing their deductions if they have mortgage interest, qualified charitable contributions, or if unreimbursed medical/dental expenses are large compared to their income. During the interview, ask the taxpayer if any of the following were applicable during the tax year:
If the taxpayer's expenses qualify, itemizing may be a better choice.
Casualty and theft losses are outside the scope of the VITA/TCE program and are mentioned here for your awareness only. Taxpayers with these issues should be referred to a professional tax preparer.
For software entries, go to the Volunteer Resource Guide (Tab 4), Tax Software Deductions, Form 1040, Page 2 — Deductions.