Tax Tip: Deductible Taxes

Did you know that you may be able to deduct certain taxes on your federal income tax return? You can if you file IRS Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. There are three types of deductible non-business taxes:

  • State, local and foreign income taxes;
  • Real estate taxes; and
  • Personal property taxes.

You can deduct any estimated taxes paid to state or local governments and any prior year's state or local income tax as long as they were paid during the tax year. Generally, you can take either a deduction or a tax credit for foreign income taxes, but not for taxes paid on income that is excluded from U.S. tax.

Deductible real estate taxes are usually any state, local, or foreign taxes on real property. If a portion of your monthly mortgage payment goes into an escrow account and your lender periodically pays your real estate taxes to local governments out of this account, you can deduct only the amount actually paid during the year to the taxing authorities.

Personal property taxes are deductible when they are based on the value of personal property, such as a boat or car. To be deductible, the tax must be charged to you on a yearly basis, even if it is collected more than once a year or less than once a year.

You can find more information on non-business deductions for taxes in Publication 17, "Your Federal Income Tax," under Chapter 24, "Taxes." You may order this publication by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.

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