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04-15-2018 06:01 AM - edited 04-15-2018 06:03 AM
I have been using H&R Block online tax filing service since 2014, All my filings were itemized.
This year, I found out about a deduction that I qualify but H&R Block's online filing service has never ever bother asking me: the local sales tax deduction. I was quite upset because the only reason I found out about this additional deduction was through TurboTax.
My questions are:
04-15-2018 11:51 AM
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04-15-2018 04:02 PM - edited 04-15-2018 04:03 PM
Hello, ytc, and welcome to the community.
Deducting sales tax is an option on the Schedule A (itemized deductions), but unless you live in a state which doesn't have an income tax, it is very rarely used.
Your estimate of an additional refund of $400 per year sounds quite high to me - if you're in the 15% tax bracket, that would mean that you paid around $2700 in sales taxes. Using a 6% sales tax rate, you would have to have spent $45K to reach that amount of sales tax. I'm not saying it's an impossible number to reach...just seems quite high.
04-15-2018 04:05 PM
Just to make sure I'm not completely brain-dead (which, given that we're closing in on the end of tax season, is somewhat possible), I took a look at my return. If I didn't have state income tax to deduct, and used the sales tax option, I would have been able to claim $367 on the itemized deductions for state sales tax. Since I'm in the 15% bracket, that would have been worth about $55 on the bottom line.
04-17-2018 08:16 PM - edited 04-17-2018 08:19 PM
$367 sounds quite low to me because that means you have only spent roughly $3,700 throughout the entire year, assuming a 10% sales tax? I think if you have to pay for the state income tax, you can choose to deduct either your state tax or local sales tax, whichever gives you the best tax return.
I live in WA, one of the few states that don't have the state tax. I was on the 28% bracket in 2016 and according to IRS's calculator (https://apps.irs.gov/app/stdc/stdc.html?_page=11&_cancel), I qualify for a total of $1,901.89 sales tax deduction, which translates to $1,901.89 * 28% = $532.53. And that is the most conservative estimate because no receipts are required if I deduct the amount by using the result from IRS's caculator.
Thanks. I will give it a try.