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Greetings, all, 2004 may be the first year I will be eligible to itemize due to buying a house. I file as single and in 2003 had $4750 worth of standard deduction that I could take. In 2004 I think the standard deduction will be at least this large, if not larger - I know it is indexed for inflation. Here are my questions:

1) There appears to be no benefit to itemizing unless my Schedule A result exceeds the standard deduction. My income for 2004 may be on the borderline of what would force a limitation on the allowed itemized deduction. Is there any similar limitation applied to the standard deduction based on income?

2) If I am eligible to get a benefit from itemizing, it would only be via interest on the mortgage, property taxes paid, state taxes paid (though I think I will now have to enter a figure for any refunds from the state elsewhere on my 1040) and charitable deductions. Since I will be paying interest on a mortgage for only 6 months of 2004, it might be tough to hit higher than $4750 even with property and state tax paid. The difference would have to come from charitable contributions. I see that if I exceed $500 in non-cash contributions I will have to fill out form 8283. It is possible that I WILL exceed $500 given that I am essentially doing a wholesale giveaway of tons o' stuff that has heretofore been sitting in my closets and on my bookshelves. I am using the program ItsDeductible to help me arrive at fair market value. What I want to know is whether I can use the printout from this program as an attachment to form 8283 to satisfy all the required disclosure. Looking over form 8283, I see questions being asked about when I acquired each donated item, as well as how I arrived at its fair market value. Assuming that I really am required to fill out 8283, how insistent is the IRS on having every bit of this detail so long as I have used the ItsDeductible software - which does not ask for this level of detail. Do I need to be taking digital photos of all my donated clothing and books?

Information about your own experiences with having non-cash deductions above $500 (necessitating form 8283) will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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