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When filing your taxes you will be able to either claim the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. And all things being equal, you can and should pick the one that gives you the bigger write-off.

Not everyone can or will itemize – the types of expenses you can claim are below:

+ Medical and Dental Expenses – cannot include health insurance premiums that were withheld from your paycheck or deducted elsewhere on the return (as a top-line deduction)

+ Taxes You Paid – does not include federal taxes (that would be nice, right?) – but it does include state/local taxes, property taxes, sales taxes

+ Interest You Paid – most people write off their mortgage interest here

+ Gifts to Charity

+ Casualty/Theft Losses

Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), it was easier to itemize deductions and most taxpayers got a bigger write-off by itemizing. Since the TCJA, the standard deduction has been almost doubled, and cuts were put in place on what can be itemized and for how much, so most taxpayers are now just taking the standard deduction.

If you do plan on itemizing your deductions, they are claimed on a Schedule A.