Average Itemized Deductions

2018 Whole Ball Of Tax

(Data Based on Preliminary 2015 IRS Statistics)

Based on the latest IRS statistics, both standard deductions and itemized deductions increased in 2015. Both deductions totaled a 3.5 percent increase. According to the IRS, over 69 percent of tax returns claimed a standard deduction. Despite most returns claiming a standard deduction, however, standard deductions only accounted for 42.9 percent of total deductions taken from adjusted gross income in TY 2015. While itemized deductions were claimed on only 29.5 percent of all returns, itemized deductions made up just over 57 percent of total deductions.

The following are preliminary figures released by the IRS (their reports lag behind the current tax year because of the time needed to compile figures). These are averages only. The IRS cautions taxpayers that they should not base their claimed deductions on these figures.

The numbers are useful, however, for two purposes:

  1. To see if your actual deduction is out of line (so you can take extra care to document your claim); and
  2. To see if the deductions meet the expectations of policymakers.

Also, note that these averages take into account only those individuals who claimed an itemized deduction for that type of expense. Zero deductions are not factored in. Thus, the “average” taxpayer with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $100,000 did not take an “average” medical expense deduction of $9,426, only the “average” taxpayer who itemized and claimed a medical expense deduction did.

Adjusted Gross Income Medical Expenses Taxes Interest Charitable Contributions
under $15,000 $9,210 $3,667 $6,397 $1,533
$15,000 to
$8,646 $5,497 $6,572 $2,483
$30,000 to
$8,761 $4,027 $6,357 $2,812
$50,000 to
$9,426 $6,323 $7,382 $3,244
$100,000 to
$11,305 $11,052 $8,905 $4,155
$200,000 to
$17,625 $17,711 $11,370 $5,779
$250,000 or more $37,032 $51,906 $16,580 $21,769

SOURCE: Wolters Kluwer, 2018
Permission for use granted.

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