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Make this an ‘election year’

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The 2016 presidential election is over, but you still have to cast votes on your 2016 tax return.

Strategy: Get all the information needed for informed decisions. The tax elections (optional choices) you make on your return—or don’t make—could easily save you hundreds or thousands of tax dollars. Here are six prime tax return choices that can help.

1. Compare state tax breaks. The IRS allows you to deduct either your state and local income taxes or sales taxes. The optimal choice usually depends on whether you live in a state with high personal income taxes like California or New York. With the optional sales tax deduction, which was permanently preserved by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, you can write off actual expenses or rely on the IRS-approved table amount.

Tip: If you opt for the table amount, add on sales tax for certain “big-ticket items” like cars and boats.

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