Itemized deductions are amounts paid for certain items, such as medical or dental care, state or local income tax, real estate taxes, mortgage interest, gifts to charities and miscellaneous deductions, such as investment expenses and unreimbursed business expenses. Each category of itemized deductions is subject to limitations. Generally speaking, the IRS gives you a standard deduction, based upon your filing status(married, single,etc.) You are allowed the larger amount of your itemized deductions or standard deduction. Itemized deductions reduce your taxable income.