Texas Taxpayers May Soon Deduct Sales Tax

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If the U.S. Senate passes the corporate tax reform, Texas taxpayers may have more money in their pockets.

The Hose approved the measure October 7, which would restore the rights of residents in seven states without income tax to deduct sales taxes from their federal tax returns.

College Station resident and Better Business Bureau president Larry Lightfoot remembers well when the government originally took away the privilege in a federal tax overhaul nearly 20 years ago.

"I thought well, I guess they need it more than I do. I hate to loose deductions, but we've lost other deductions as well," said Lightfoot.

Only taxpayers who itemize their deductions can also write off their sales tax, but if you fall into that category, how do you even begin to keep records of it all?

You can always save receipts to add up your sales tax during tax season, but most agree even that is too tedious and that there's an easier way.

Brenda Owens with B/CS Tax Group said in the past a chart could give you a deductible number based off your income.

"If it was $50,000 there was an amount you could take as a standard rate on your sales tax," said Owens.

But saving receipts might be best if you make a big purchase.

"If you buy an automobile the sales tax on an expensive vehicle is probably much more than that standard is going to be," said Owens.

Either way, Lightfoot said he's ready for a tax break.

"Oh, it would be great. I look for all the tax deductions I can get," said Lightfoot.

According to the State Comptrollers Office, in 2004 the deduction could save the average Texas family that itemizes $310. The sales tax deduction would be available for two years.