You can elect to deduct state and local general sales taxes, instead of state and local income taxes, as an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 5b. Generally, you can use either your actual expenses or the state and local sales tax tables to figure your sales tax deduction. taxmap/pub17/p17-118.htm#en_us_publink100087259
Generally, you can deduct the actual state and local general sales taxes (including compensating use taxes) if the tax rate was the same as the general sales tax rate. However, sales taxes on food, clothing, medical supplies, and motor vehicles are deductible as a general sales tax even if the tax rate was less than the general sales tax rate. If you paid sales tax on a motor vehicle at a rate higher than the general sales tax rate, you can deduct only the amount of tax that you would have paid at the general sales tax rate on that vehicle. If you use the actual expenses method, you must have receipts to show the general sales taxes paid.taxmap/pub17/p17-118.htm#en_us_publink100087260
Instead of using your actual expenses, you can figure your state and local general sales tax deduction using the state and local sales tax tables in the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040). You may also be able to add the state and local general sales taxes paid on certain specified items, such as motor vehicles (purchased or leased), aircraft, boats, homes (including mobile and prefabricated homes) and home building materials.
Your applicable table amount is based on the state where you live, your income, and the number of exemptions claimed on your tax return. Your income is your adjusted gross income plus any nontaxable items such as the following.
- Tax-exempt interest.
- Veterans' benefits.
- Nontaxable combat pay.
- Workers' compensation.
- Nontaxable part of social security and railroad retirement benefits.
- Nontaxable part of IRA, pension, or annuity distributions, excluding rollovers.
- Public assistance payments.
If you lived in different states during the same tax year, you must prorate your applicable table amount for each state based on the days you lived in each state. See the instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040), line 5, for details.