#1 Question: Can itemizing deductions shrink my refund?
If the deductions you choose to itemize don’t exceed the amount of what you got as the standard deduction, you’re better of without itemizing. The standard deduction is basically a free write-off from the IRS, but you shouldn’t opt for it when you have larger itemized deductions.
Plus, the amount of your standard deduction is actually based on your filing status. If you’re single, for instance, the standard deduction for the 2020 tax year is $12,400, and if you’re a married joint filer, the deduction is $24,800, while the head of household gets $18,650.