Paying Taxes

How do you know if it makes sense to itemize?

Start by looking at your largest expenses that qualify as itemized deductions — for most people that’s mortgage interest, property taxes and state taxes. If they together come close to the standard deduction for your situation, odds are that it makes sense to itemize after you account for all the other breaks, notes Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA at TurboTax.

Among taxpayers who do itemize, the numbers are pretty substantial. In 2011, the most recent data, taxpayers who itemized had a total of $25,000 in itemized deductions, according to CCH.

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