If you itemize your deductions, you may be in for a windfall on this years tax. Yep, Congress has renewed the optional sales tax deduction. Of course, you have to figure it out.
If you itemize your tax deductions, you already know that you can claim a deduction for the total state income taxes you paid during the year. Depending on your state, that can be a very large tax deduction. But what if you live in a state that doesn’t collect income taxes? For the last couple of years, you could claim a deduction for the total state and local sales tax you paid on your purchases. In fact, you can do this regardless of whether you live in a state that collects income tax or not.
The state sales tax deduction was set to expire at the end of the fiscal 2005 year. At the last minute, Congress renewed it. All and all, this is great news. One problem does exist, however. You need to figure out which deduction is going to be bigger, you state income tax or sales tax deduction. Well, the IRS is here to offer a bit of help.
The IRS has an excellent website. Yes, I am shocked to. Regardless, the agency is offering a free sales tax deduction calculator on the site. The beauty of the calculator is it already has the state and local sales tax rates built into the database. As a result, you don’t have to go hunt and peck for them.
People are often leery whenever the IRS offers anything free. In truth, the IRS has become much friendlier the last few years, just don’t ask someone being audited. Regardless, you can use the sales tax calculator without fear. All information is anonymous. The IRS records nothing regarding your personal information. They don’t even ask for it. In short, using it will not come back to haunt you!
If you itemize, it is in your best interest to determine whether the sales or income tax deduction will save you more money. Now you can use the free calculator provided by the IRS to make the determination quicker.