For the last several years, taxpayers have been allowed to take an itemized deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes. This break can be valuable to those residing in states with no or low income taxes or who purchase major items, such as a car or boat. But this break had expired Dec. 31, 2011.
Now the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has extended it for 2012 and 2013. So see if you can save more by deducting sales tax on your 2012 return. And if you’re contemplating a major purchase, you may want to make it in 2013 to ensure the sales tax deduction is available.