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Feds settle $15 million tax scam; Adding up sales tax deduction amount

Some things are tax filing season perennials. Among them are ways to cut tax bills and tax scammers. Both of those topics were featured last week at my other tax blog.

Bankrate Taxes Blog icon Let's get the bad guys out of the way first. Among those in this category are folks who promise, for a fee, to reduce the big tax bill you can't pay and then don't follow through.

That's what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged happened to clients of American Tax Relief (ATR) clients. Two years ago the feds filed charges against the Beverly Hills, Calif., company alleging that it was running a nationwide scam that bilked consumers out of millions.

Last week the FTC and ATR reached a settlement under which the company will pay more than $15 million in cash and assets to settle the scam charges.

Meanwhile, other taxpayers are trying to reduce their tax bills themselves. Deductions are a good way to do that and the recently renewed itemized deduction for state and local sales tax is appealing to filers who have no or little state or local income tax to deduct.

You can either deduct the amount provided in the sales tax tables provided by the Internal Revenue Service or, if you have all your sales receipts for the tax year, you can add up that total and claim it instead.

Just choose the one that gives you the bigger deduction.

You can check out my tax thoughts at the Bankrate Taxes Blog, usually each Tuesday and Thursday.

If, however, you happen to miss my posts there, you can find a wrap-up here the following weekend. 

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have you heard of a company called Tax Breaks Pro they are based in TX and have tables set up in Famliy Dollar stores ? I worked for them for a few weeks however employees did not receive wage payment. I have been trying to research the co. and come up with dead ends. there is nothing on them it is very odd to say the least.

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