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Taxpayers May Want to Consider Accelerating Large Dollar Purchases Under the New Tax Law

By David E. Colmenero on December 27, 2017

As the year comes to a close, one additional matter that individual taxpayers may want to consider is whether to expedite any large dollar purchases into this year if sales tax will be due on those transactions. Under current law, taxpayers may claim as an itemized deduction certain state and local taxes, including real property taxes, personal property taxes, and either income taxes or sales taxes. Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, individual taxpayers may continue to deduct these state and local taxes, but will be subject to a limitation of $10,000. This limitation will apply to the aggregate amount of all such taxes claimed as a deduction, but the limitation will not apply to any taxes that are paid or accrued in carrying on a trade or business, or activities described in Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code (relating to ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in the production of certain types of income). Because the above limitation for state and local taxes will apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, taxpayers who are planning to make larger purchases subject to sales tax may be incentivized to make those purchases before the end of this year. Sales taxes paid for purchases made this year could potentially avoid the new $10,000 limitation. A taxpayer planning to purchase a new car, for example, might want to consider the tax benefit of doing that before December 31, 2017.