California

Updated 01/07/2021

https://www.ftb.ca.gov/file/personal/deductions/index.html

Visit 2020 Instructions for Schedule CA (540) or 2020 Instructions for Schedule CA (540NR) for more information.

Itemized deductions

Itemized deductions are expenses that you can claim on your tax return. They can decrease your taxable income.

We do not conform to all federal itemized deductions.

You should itemize your deductions if:

  • Your total itemized deductions are more than your standard deduction
  • You do not qualify to claim the standard deduction

Common itemized deductions

DeductionCA allowable amountFederal allowable amount
Medical and dental expensesExpenses that exceed 7.5% of your federal AGIExpenses that exceed 7.5% of your federal AGI
Home mortgage interestOn home purchases up to $1,000,000On home purchases up to $750,000
Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Itemized DeductionsExpenses that exceed 2% of your federal AGINone
Gambling lossesGambling losses are deductible to the extent of gambling winnings.All deductions for expenses incurred in carrying out wagering transactions, and not just gambling losses, are limited to the extent of gambling winnings.
AlimonyDivorce or Separation Agreements executed after December 31, 2018:California does not conform to the federal change. A schedule CA adjustment is needed.Divorce or Separation Agreements executed before January 1, 2019:California conforms to the federal law.Divorce or Separation Agreements executed after December 31, 2018, (or executed on or before December 31, 2018 and modified after that date):Alimony payments are not deducted by the payer spouse and are not included in the income by the recipient spouse.Divorce or Separation Agreements executed before January 1, 2019:Alimony payments are deducted by the payer and included in the income of the payee.

Visit 2020 Instructions for Schedule CA (540) or 2020 Instructions for Schedule CA (540NR) for more information.