An itemized deduction is an eligible expense that individual taxpayers in the United States can report on their federal income tax returns in order to decrease their taxable income.
Most taxpayers are allowed a choice between the itemized deductions and the standard deduction. After computing their adjusted gross income (AGI), taxpayers can itemize their deductions (from a list of allowable items) and subtract those itemized deductions (and any applicable personal exemption deductions) from their AGI amount to arrive at their taxable income amount. Alternatively, they can elect to subtract the standard deduction for their filing status (and any applicable personal exemption deduction) to arrive at their taxable income. In other words, the taxpayer may generally deduct the total itemized deduction amount, or the standard deduction amount, whichever is greater.
The choice between the standard deduction and itemizing involves a number of factors:
Only a taxpayer eligible for standard deduction can choose it.