Who Should File Schedules A & B
The question is not so much who may file the schedule A & B for 2010, but rather who should. Tax payers who believe they may have had certain expenses in excess of the standard deduction should consider filling out Schedules A & B to use as a worksheet to determine their total itemized deductions. By itemizing deductions, tax payers can see where their money has been spent for certain items throughout the year and may find the total itemized deductions is in excess of the standard deduction.
Items found on Schedules A & B include medical and dental expenses. Examples of medical and dental expenses that may be deducted from gross income include insurance premiums for medical and dental coverage, prescription medications, and expenses paid to qualified medical professionals. Money spent on diagnostics tests and examinations may also be deducted including any hospital stays and nursing help. The supplemental part of Medicare insurance (Part B) and premiums paid to Medicare (Part D) may be included in the itemization. Even programs to stop smoking and lose weight may be claimed.
Certain taxes withheld for state and local governments and agencies may be claimed including mandatory contributions made to certain state programs. According to the current 2010 Instructions for Schedules A:
“Generally, you can deduct the actual state and local general sales tax (including compensating use taxes) you paid in 2010 if the tax rate was the same as the general sales tax rate."
These schedules further allow deductions for real estate taxes, personal property taxes, and several others. Interest paid, for example, for a home mortgage may be claimed as well as qualified mortgage insurance premiums. Investment interest and a portion of gifts to charities may be deducted. Even losses from casualties and theft may be claimed. Finally, job expenses and a host of other, miscellaneous deductions can be claimed.