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We own our home, but is it advantageous for us to use the standard deduction instead of itemizing? Someone told me we can take a deduction for our real property taxes even though we do not itemize deductions. Is this true?

Yes. Congress recently extended the standard deduction for real property taxes for non-itemizers through the 2009 tax year. On page 2 of the 2008 Form 1040, take this deduction on Line 39c. Your standard deduction is increased by state and local real estate taxes you paid, up to $500 ($1,000 if married filing jointly). The real estate taxes must be those that would have been deductible on Schedule A if you had itemized deductions.

If you have questions related to church tax or compensation matters, email them to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dan Busby is a certified public accountant, acting president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), and the author of the Zondervan Clergy Tax & Financial Guide.