The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-10-2004, 02:38 PM
choosybeggar choosybeggar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
How much money could I save by itemizing?

So a little about me. I'm 34, a dermatology resident, making approx 40k. I'm divorced and I spend $1100/month on child support and child care. I rent and have no property. I occasionally spend money on items related to my job (about $500-1000 per annum).

Can someone estimate how much I'd save on taxes by itemizing? And what are the basics of itemizing so I can do it myself?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 01-10-2004, 03:06 PM
Bean Counter Bean Counter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Re: How much money could I save by itemizing?

Quote:
Originally posted by choosybeggar
So a little about me. I'm 34, a dermatology resident, making approx 40k. I'm divorced and I spend $1100/month on child support and child care. I rent and have no property. I occasionally spend money on items related to my job (about $500-1000 per annum).

Can someone estimate how much I'd save on taxes by itemizing? And what are the basics of itemizing so I can do it myself?
What will you save? Nothing. This assumes that you are talking about U.S. taxes, of course.

The standard deduction for 2002 (sorry, I do not have my 2003 book yet) was $4,700 (single). The only item you listed would be the job related items. The $500-$1,000 annual amount is subject to a 2% AGI floor. That means that you reduce those expenses by 2% of your adjusted gross income (line 35 on the form 1040).

The child support is deducted from Gross Income to come to Adjust Gross Income. (In other words, not an itemized item.)

The "typical" things people will itemize for are:
1) Home loan interest
2) Charitable contributions
3) Major medical expenses not covered by insurance(subject to a 7.5% AGI floor!)

If your itemizations are not greater than the standard deduction, it does not make sense to itemize.

For more information, take a look at the instructions for Schedule A on their web site.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-10-2004, 03:53 PM
Early Out Early Out is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Re: Re: How much money could I save by itemizing?

Quote:
Originally posted by Bean Counter
The "typical" things people will itemize for are:
1) Home loan interest
2) Charitable contributions
3) Major medical expenses not covered by insurance(subject to a 7.5% AGI floor!)
Don't forget taxes (other than your Federal income tax, of course), principally real estate taxes and state income taxes. But in choosybeggar's case, he's not paying any real estate taxes (that can be a biggie for a lot of homeowners), and his state income taxes couldn't possibly be high enough to push his total deductions higher than the standard deduction. So, the "nothing" answer is still correct!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-10-2004, 08:29 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Re: How much money could I save by itemizing?

Quote:
Originally posted by choosybeggar
Can someone estimate how much I'd save on taxes by itemizing? And what are the basics of itemizing so I can do it myself?
Call the IRS and give them your scenarios and they will help you. As crazy as it sounds hundreds of pepole do this every day. You have questions, ask the people who live the book every day. The average IRS phone help person has zero agenda as to how much money the govt brings in and they can confirm any instructions or qualifications for deductions in writing in case there is a question later..

Drach, Son of an IRS phone help unit manager.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.