IRS UPDATES SALES TAX TABLE PUBLICATION: The Internal Revenue Service has updated for three states the tables that taxpayers can use to determine whether they'll benefit from deducting sales tax rather than state and local income taxes. The agency updated the optional sales tax tables in Publication 600 for Arkansas, California and Virginia. The tables, which give taxpayers a sales tax deduction amount as an alternative to saving receipts throughout the year and tabulating the amount actually paid, were updated to reflect sales tax changes made by the three states during 2004; the original tables were based on the states' sales tax rates as of Jan. 1, 2004.

The IRS said that it made the update before any of the tables were mailed to taxpayers in Arkansas, California or Virginia. The updated tables are available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/ p600.pdf. The agency will mail the updated Publication 600 to taxpayers in the affected states this week.

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