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Thanks for replying to my post. I'll try to clarify the issues:

<<1. Whatever these shared deductible items are, whoever paid them (and meets whatever other requirements there are for the specific item) is entitled to take them. You can't divvie them up however it suits you.>>
The deductions are for a mortgage that is in both our names, thus I would assume that either of us can claim it, but not both. Explained to us by a tax preparer.

<<2. If your itemized deductions are more than your standard deduction, it's to your advantage to itemize.>>
I agree. I'm trying to identify who benefits the most. The deductions amount to approx $10K. My standard ded. = $4300, net benefit = $5700. Filing jointly, their standard = $7200, net benefit = $2800 and separately, her stand = $3600, net benefit = $6400.

<<3. If your friend and her husband file separate returns, both must itemize or both must take the standard deduction.>>
If they were filing separately, hubby couldn't take his standard ($3600) and my friend itemize? I would also take my standard ($4300) in this case. How would they both itemize if they file separately?

Thanks again,

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