Title says it all. If I know in advance I'll be taking the standard deduction, do I still have to enter and submit my student loan interest? Or any itemized deductions, for that matter?

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    When you say “enter and submit” are you talking about entering the number onto a tax form, or are you talking about entering the number into a specific tax program? – Ben Miller Jan 18 '18 at 22:32
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    @BenMiller Oh, good point. Or "enter and submit" on next year's Financial Aid Form, or ... ? – Jay Jan 19 '18 at 22:20

Assuming that you live in the United States:

Short answer: Reagrding student loan interest: Yes. Student loan interest is technically not a "deduction" but an "adjustment to income". See https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc456. You enter this amount on your 1040 (line 33 for 2017), not on Schedule A, the form for itemized deductions.

Regarding itemized deductions: No. You cannot claim the standard deduction and also claim itemized deductions. You get one or the other. Student loan interest is not an itemized deduction so this has nothing to do with claiming student loan interest.

Or technically, you do not "have to" enter any deductions. If you want to leave off deductions, I don't think there's any law against paying MORE taxes than you are legally required to pay. It's when you try to pay LESS that the IRS becomes unhappy.

  • Though the IRS once sent me a refund for an overpayment, due to an error in computing long-term capital gains. – jamesqf Jan 19 '18 at 5:00
  • But did they arrest you for "filing a false tax return"? – Jay Jan 19 '18 at 22:18

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