Sen. Cantwell and Rep. Baird Present "Taxpayer Tips for the New State Sales Tax Deduction"

Tax preparer/CPA and state's top tax official join Cantwell and Baird to discuss how Washington taxpayers can get the biggest tax cut possible "Taxpayer Tips" Posted to Cantwell web site; average tax cut over $500

SEATTLE, WA – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Brian Baird today presented a news briefing on "Taxpayer Tips for the New State Sales Tax Deduction." Last week, Congress enacted a new tax cut sponsored by Cantwell and Baird which allows Washington state taxpayers to deduct state and local sales taxes from their federal income tax returns for the first time since 1986.

"After 18 years of a raw deal, Washington state has finally gotten a fair deal," Cantwell said. "These 'Taxpayer Tips' will help Washingtonians squeeze every last drop of tax relief out of this important new tax cut."

"The passage of the sales tax deduction prevision is the culmination of six years of hard work and is a truly bipartisan effort," Baird said. "Restoring tax equity to our state was my top priority when I was elected to Congress and I am thrilled see this injustice corrected. It is past time for Congress to give Washington, and the six other sales tax states, a fair deal on their tax deductions."

At the briefing, Mustafa Patwa, a local certified public account outlined tax tips and strategies to help Washington taxpayers get the biggest tax cut possible from the new state sales tax deduction. The tips and answers to frequently asked questions (see attachments) were posted to Cantwell's official web site at http://cantwell.senate.gov.

The most important thing a taxpayer needs to know from today's "Taxpayer Tips" is that taxpayers don't need to save every receipt in order to take advantage of this new tax cut. When taxpayers pay their federal taxes, a simple easy to use table will help them estimate how much sales taxes they have paid and can deduct. However, if they have made large purchases, such as an automobile or a home remodeling, they may wish to deduct the actual sales tax paid because the tax cut will be even larger.

The Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue, Will Rice, also outlined the economic benefits of the new tax deduction. According to the Congressional Research Service, the average itemizing taxpayer will receive a deduction between $519 and $574, effecting almost one million Washington state taxpayers. Overall, the state will receive a tax cut of up to $548 million.

Senator Cantwell was the lead Democratic author of the Senate version of the tax cut and Congressman Baird was the lead member of the House in writing the tax cut legislation. It passed Congress last week as part of a larger corporate tax reform bill, the JOBS Act.