Who Itemizes and Who Takes the Standard Deduction?

July 27, 2007

We have posted a new Fiscal Fact to the website and an accompanying data page regarding the issue of who itemizes on their federal tax returns. In general, upper-income taxpayers are the most frequent itemizers. In addition, the states with the highest incomes tend to have the largest fraction of taxpayers itemize. Other factors that influence itemization rates across the country include regional housing prices and state and local tax burdens.

Unfortunately, such stark differences across regions with regards to who receives the most tax savings from the various itemized deductions like the home mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction can make fundamental tax reform, which tends to eliminate these deductions in favor of lower overall rates, difficult to accomplish.

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