Itemized Deductions

The tax code defines itemized deductions as all the income tax deductions listed in the tax code other than the personal exemption and the deductions allowed in figuring Adjusted Gross Income.1


However, the term “itemized deductions” is significant mainly to individuals because corporations may only use itemized deductions, whereas an individual may deduct either itemized deductions or a set dollar amount called the Standard Deduction.2 The amount of the standard deduction depends on your filing status (e.g., married filing jointly).


For individuals, the itemized deductions go on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040. Examples include medical expenses, home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and charitable contributions.


Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions are the least desirable category of itemized deductions for individuals. You can deduct miscellaneous itemized deductions only to extent that they (in the aggregate) exceed two percent of your Adjusted Gross Income.3 For many individuals, this limitation effectively eliminates any benefit from miscellaneous itemized deductions.


The tax code defines miscellaneous itemized deductions by exclusion, i.e., all itemized deductions available to individuals other than those specifically listed.4 Two of the more common examples of miscellaneous itemized deductions are unreimbursed employee expenses and investment expenses.5



1           IRC Section 63(d).

2           IRC Section 63(b), (c).

3           IRC Section 67(a).

4           IRC Section 67(b).

5           Reg. Section 1.67-1T(a).