Congress did taxpayers a favor by making several temporary credits and deductions permanent. By David Muhlbaum, Senior Online Editor March 11, 2016 Congress has a habit of waiting until the last minute to change tax rules. But at the end of 2015, lawmakers did taxpayers a favor by making some temporary tax breaks permanent.See Also: 9 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class Take the American Opportunity tax credit, which offers families up to $2,500 a year per qualifying college student. The tax credit, good for up to four years, had been scheduled to shrink in value in 2018. Now, it stays. Also now permanent is the ability of teachers to deduct up to $250 a year for money they spend for classroom supplies. Even non-itemizers can claim this write-off. Sponsored Content For years, taxpayers had the choice of deducting either the state income tax or the state sales tax they pay. The sales-tax option, though, expired at the end of 2014. It’s now been revived retroactively for 2015 and made permanent. If you live in a state with little or no income tax, this one’s a no-brainer: deduct the sales tax. Take a look at more valuable tax breaks made permanent by Congress.