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If your deductible personal and family expenses, as defined by the IRS, add up to more than the standard deduction for your filing status, and you have the records to prove them, you should itemize your deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction.

To do that, you'll have to file Form 1040 or 1040A, and complete Schedule A and attach it to your tax return.

Schedule A (Form 1040A or 1040), Itemized Deductions

Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040A or 1040), Itemized Deductions

The files are in Adobe portable document format (PDF), which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is available, without charge, at the Adobe website.

For more information, see our discussion of Itemized Deductions.

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