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2007 Tax Guide    
  A tax tip a day will help keep the IRS away. You'll find them here, along with good advice on filing your return.
     
See Bankrate's 2008 Tax Guide for the most up-to-date tax information.
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Out-of-date forms could mean slow refunds

Once you find the sales tax amount to claim, the next step is to find out just where to enter it. Since you must itemize to claim the sales tax deduction, you'll enter the amount on line 5 of Schedule A, listed as "State and local income taxes." Enter "ST" on the dotted line next to the amount to indicate you're taking the general sales tax deduction.

Education-related adjustments
The other two revived write-offs are available regardless of whether you itemize or take the standard deduction. The only requirement is that you file the long Form 1040, as the breaks are not available this year on the 1040A form.

To claim the higher education tuition and fees adjustment, which could reduce your taxable income by as much as $4,000, enter the amount on line 35. That line is officially labeled "domestic production activities deduction," a tax break for U.S.-based businesses that manufacture products domestically instead of sending the work overseas.

If you use it, however, for tuition and fees, write "T" on the corresponding dotted line. If you are also taking the domestic production deduction, put the combined amount on line 35 and write "B" on the dotted line. You'll also need to attach a paper showing the breakdown of the amounts claimed for each deduction.

The educator expense adjustment allows a tax break of up to $250 to teachers and other eligible school (public or private) employees who spend their own money on classroom supplies. Enter the amount on Form 1040, line 23, which is designated for "Archer MSA Deduction" claims, and write "E" on the dotted line.

If you're claiming both an Archer deduction and the educator expenses, the drill is the same as with the tuition and fees adjustment. Write "B" on the dotted line and attach a breakdown showing the amounts claimed for each.

For each of these tax breaks, the IRS has placed examples of where and what to enter on the 2006 forms: sales tax, tuition and fees and educator expenses.

Freelance writer Kay Bell writes Bankrate's tax stories from her home in Austin, Texas, and blogs daily on tax topics at Don't Mess with Taxes.

-- Posted: Jan. 4, 2007
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