When filing your tax return, is it better to take the standard deduction or claim itemized deductions? It depends. The standard deduction changes yearly and is based on filing status and age. Itemizing requires more calculations but can save taxes if the total deductions exceed the standard deduction. Those most likely to benefit from itemizing are those who pay state and local income tax, mortgage interest, mortgage insurance, real estate or personal property tax; suffered a large eligible casualty loss; make significant charitable donations; and/or have high medical deductions. We can help choose your best path.