You must decide whether to itemize your charitable contributions, medical expenses, interest paid, taxes, etc. or take the standard deduction. Your California income tax will be less if you take the larger of:
Your California itemized deductions; or
Your California standard deduction. If you are married and file a separate return, you and your spouse must either both itemize your deductions or both take the standard deduction.
Itemized deductions: Figure your California itemized deductions by completing Schedule CA (540), Part II.
Note: If you did not itemize deductions on your federal income tax return but will itemize deductions for your California Form 540, first complete a federal Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Then complete Schedule CA (540), Part II.