- $12,400 for single filing status
- $24,800 for married, filing jointly
- $12,400 for married, filing separately
- $18,650 for heads of households
If you choose an itemized deduction, you can pick and choose from various deductions. These include mortgage interest, student loan interest, charitable contributions, medical expenses and more. To itemize your deductions, you’ll need to fill out additional forms to list each one and provide records, receipts and other documents that validate them.
So how do you decide which one to do? It all comes down to which method saves you more money. If your standard deduction saves you more money than your itemized deduction, take the standard deduction. Or vice versa.
Here’s an example. These deductions add up to $8,200. In this case, you would want to take the standard deduction of $12,400 instead, because you would get $4,000 more deducted from your taxable income.
Now let’s say your mortgage interest is $11,000 and the other deductions remain the same. Your itemized deductions would total $13,200. In this case, you would want to take the itemized deduction, because it reduces your taxable income $800 more than the standard deduction would.
Don’t forget: If you’re paying someone to prepare your taxes for you, it may cost more to have them itemize your taxes since this requires more work. Make sure you factor in the extra cost when deciding which method saves you the most money.
You itemize the following deductions as a single individual: mortgage interest ($6,000), student loan interest ($1,000) and charitable donations ($1,200)
One of the most important things to know about taking either the itemized or standard deduction is that you cannot take both. You must choose one or the other.
To fill out the information about the interest you paid for the tax year, you’ll need a 1098 Form from your mortgage lender or mortgage servicer, the entity you make your payments to. This document details how much you paid in mortgage interest and points during the past year. It’s the proof you’ll need for your mortgage interest deduction.
Your lender or mortgage servicer will provide the form for you at the beginning of the year, before your taxes are due. If you don’t receive it by mid-February, have questions not covered in our 1098 FAQ or need help reading your form, contact your lender.
Keep in mind, you will only get a 1098 Form if you paid more than $600 in mortgage interest. If you paid less than $600 in mortgage interest, you can still deduct it.
Choose The Correct Tax Forms
You’ll need to itemize your deductions to claim the mortgage interest deduction. Since mortgage interest is an itemized deduction, you’ll use Schedule A (Form 1040), which is an itemized tax form, in addition to the standard 1040 form. This form also lists other deductions, including medical and dental expenses, taxes you paid and donations to charity. You can find the mortgage interest deduction part on line 8 of the form. You’ll put in the mortgage interest information found on your 1098 in that section. Pretty easy.
Now comes the tricky part. If you make money from the home – whether using it as a rental property or using it for your business – you’ll need to fill out a different form. That’s because the way interest is deducted from your taxes depends on how you used the loan money, not on the loan itself.
If you are deducting the interest you pay on rental properties, you must use Schedule E (Form 1040) to report it. This form is used for supplemental income from rental real estate. If you use part of your house as a home office or if you use money from your mortgage for business purposes, you may need to fill out a Schedule C (Form 1040 or 1040-SR) to report it. This form is used for profit or loss from a business you owned or operated yourself. You’ll list mortgage interest as an expense on both of these forms.