taxes

Some taxes can lower your IRS bill

Deducting vehicle and local sales taxes

If you bought a motor vehicle in 2014, sales tax paid on that purchase can be added to the rest of the sales tax amount you deduct on Schedule A.

And what, in the IRS' estimation, is a motor vehicle? The definition includes cars, motorcycles, motor homes, recreational vehicles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, vans and off-road vehicles. You also can deduct the sales tax paid on a plane or boat if the tax rate was the same as your state's general sales tax rate.

Just add the vehicle's (or boat's or plane's) sales tax amount to the state and local sales tax amount you enter on line 5b of Schedule A. For most filers, the amount of general sales tax is found in the tables provided for each state in the Schedule A instructions.

Also be sure to calculate your more local sales tax payments, those amounts charged by many cities and counties.

The Schedule A instructions also include tables for these local sales taxes. Most taxpayers will let their tax software calculate their total state and local sales tax amounts. If you prefer paper, check out the worksheet in the Schedule A instructions. Or you can figure your deduction by using the sales tax deduction calculator at the IRS website.

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