Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quick question on tax deductions

So, the last post got me thinking about the interest deduction and I've been crunching some numbers to see if, with the mortgage and some major health expenses for Kate this spring, it might be worth itemizing this year. I don't have exact enough numbers on some of this stuff to know for sure (the medical one is kind of tricky), but it made me wonder... what percent of taxpayers actually itemize? It's something I never used to think about because my taxes were trivial to do, and then after college taxes got to be a little more of a chore but I wasn't close to having to worry about itemizing. That may change in the future (it may change this year depending on how this works out), but it really is a pretty big hurdle.

I only ask because I would have thought this percentage would be very easy to find, and I've been googling a little and it has been all that easy, which just made me more curious.


  1. I don't have exact statistics, though they are probably available somewhere at

    This says that 70% of taxpayers will take the standard deduction. That is probably a little misleading because every kid working in a part-time job is also a 'taxpayer' filing a return.

    As a CPA that works in tax, I'd say that you could 'ballpark' a figure for adults using home mortgage statistics. Most people with a home mortgage - especially those in states with higher property tax rates - are going to itemize.

    Just a WAG, but from your blog posts - Didn't I read something about you buying a house in 2012? And I'd guess it is in the DC area? Unless you dropped a huge down payment, you're probably better off itemizing since your interest + property taxes is likely higher than the standard deduction.

    If your return is really pretty simple and you don't want to pay a CPA to do it, spend the $50 and buy Turbo Tax. It will walk you through it pretty well and then take the better of the Standard or Itemized - and you can file online.

  2. Longitudinally, I filed an EZ and an A exactly once each, 1040s the rest, and itemized from the first home purchase to when I paid it off, so a decade out of school to retirement.

  3. Hi There, I just spent a little time reading through your posts, which I found entirely by mistake whilst researching one of my projects. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!


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