Itemized Deductions Checklist

Interest – Deductible

Home Mortgage Interest Paid, Including Acquisition Debt and Home Equity Debt if Used to Buy, Build, or Improve Your Home.
Points and Loan Origination Fees to Obtain a Mortgage or to Refinance a Mortgage

Interest-Non-deductible includes personal interest such as credit card interest, auto loans, interest on home loans in excess of $750,000 (or $1,000,000 if financed before 12/15/17), and mortgage interest on a 3rd home

Taxes – Deductible State and Local Taxes (SALT) Exceeding the Limit $10,000 ($5,000 MFS)

  • Real Estate Taxes Paid
  • State and Local Sales Taxes OR State and Local Income Taxes (example–GA Withholding)
  • Personal Property Taxes (example ad Valorem taxes included on car tags)
  • Income Tax Paid to a Foreign Country or U.S. Possession

Taxes–Non-Deductible include federal income and excise taxes, Social Security, Medicare, FUTA, RRTA, custom duties, federal estate or gift taxes, state or local gasoline taxes, car inspection fees, special assessments for improvements to taxpayer’s property, tax paid for someone else, license fees including dog license, driver’s license, marriage license and SALT Limit $10,000 ($5,000 MFS).

Charitable Donations – Deductible

  • Cash (with receipt), check, money order or payroll deduction given to a qualified charitable organization.
  • Property other than cash or check given to a qualified charitable organization
  • Out-of-pocket expenses when serving a qualified organization as a volunteer
  • Automobile expenses when serving a qualifed organization as a volunteer
  • Expenses paid for a student living with the taxpayer under a written agreement, sponsored by a qualified organization
  • Charity volunteer’s travel expenses away from home, including meals/lodging if there is no significant level of personal pleasure, recreation or vacation in this travel.

Examples of Qualified Organizations

  • Churches, mosques, temples, synagagues
  • Boy and Girl Scouts, Boy and Girls Clubs of America, Red Cross, Goodwill, Salvation Army, United Way
  • Fraternal orders, if gifts for qualified charitable purposes
  • Veterans’ and certain cultural groups
  • Nonprofit schools, colleges, museums, hospitals, and organizations trying to find medical cures
  • Federal, state, and local governments, if gifts are solely for public purposes, including nonprofit volunteer fire departments, public parks facilities, and civil defense organizations

Examples of Non-Qualifed Organizations

  • Country clubs, lodges, fraternal orders and simiar groups
  • Civic leagues, social and sports clubs, labor unions and chambers of commerce
  • Political organizations and candidates
  • Homeowner’s associations
  • Communist organizations
  • Foreign organizations–Exceptions:  Contributions to certain Canadian, Israeli, and Mexican charities are deductible.  See IRS Pub 528 (

Non-Deductible Charitable Contributions

  • Gifts to an individual
  • Cost of raffle, bingo or lottery tickets (may qualify as a gambling loss)
  • The value of taxpayer’s time or services
  • Political contributions
  • Tuition at a school that is a qualified charity
  • Contributions (single) of $250 or more if acknowledgement statement is not retained
  • Donations to organizations engaged in lobbying, for law changes, or for the taxpayer’s trade or business