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Off the top of my head, it seems you are right. The various limits on itemized deductions are generally adjustments, not limits.

However, I can think of at least two reasons that changing your deductions might not be helping you.

Are you changing deductions deductions for items that are subject to a floor, such as medical expenses or miscellaneous deductions? Perhaps you have not crossed the floor and are not adding enough deductions to do so. For example, if your AGI is $150,000, only miscellaneous deductions over $3,000 (2% of $150,000) will help you. If you are increasing your miscellaneous deductions from $1000 to $2000 in this situation, nothing will change.

Or, are you being hit with alternative minimum tax? Depending on your situation, changing certain deductions will not change the alternative minimum taxable income.

You'd really have to poke around your return a bit to figure this out. But, it might be worth it.

Mike Lynch
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