The deduction goes on your schedule A instead of state taxes. This is true even if all the receipts are not kept. There is there is a chart of varying calculations based on where the taxpayers lives put out by the IRS. You take the calculation for your income level as an approved estimate of the amount of sales tax you paid in the target year. Then, you can add amounts for large items (automobiles, boats, appliances, etc.) you paid in sales tax too.
Because the rule is an instead rather than an addition one, most people who live in a high income tax state will probably continue to deduct the amount paid to the state. The rule mainly benefits low or no income tax state residents, like the Texas-based President Bush.
Yes Genius, it's a coincidence. Tell that to the residents of Texas and the other six states that have no state income tax. Members of congress from those six states have been fighting to get this passed for some years now.
Congress is trying to legislate morality and govern human behavior with the tax code. It has been so for quite a while. Get your facts straight.
Besides, if you had ever looked at Bush's tax return, which is public for all to see, you would understand, as I do, that 1) HE doesn't make changes to the tax code, and 2) He hasn't really taken advantage of the benefits available, much less any "new" benefits. He pays far more taxes on far less income than Kerry or his wife ever did.
Check out Kerry's tax return. It's a whole different story there.