Illinois residents are among those rushing out in droves to pre-pay their property tax bills before the new GOP tax plan — recently signed into law by President Donald Trump — takes effect in 2018. The new plan caps state and local tax deductions at $10,000, and many are hurrying to pay the first installment of their upcoming property taxes before the end of the year.
In Illinois, homeowners can prepay their property taxes, but if you want to take advantage of the uncapped deductions one last time, you’d better hurry: The deadline is Friday, Dec. 29.
The IRS Wednesday issued some guidance about pre-paying and deductions:
The Internal Revenue Service advised tax professionals and taxpayers today that pre-paying 2018 state and local real property taxes in 2017 may be tax deductible under certain circumstances.
The IRS has received a number of questions from the tax community concerning the deductibility of prepaid real property taxes. In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed prior to 2018. A prepayment of anticipated real property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017. State or local law determines whether and when a property tax is assessed, which is generally when the taxpayer becomes liable for the property tax imposed.
Last week, Will County treasurer Steve Weber’s office sent a series of tweets letting residents know that pre-payments must be in the county treasurer’s office by 4:30 p.m. Friday. Anything that comes in after that will be marked for the 2018 calendar year.
In Cook County, nearly 50,000 taxpayers have made a total of $312 million in early payments, the Chicago Tribune reported. A year ago, just 1,700 people pre-paid $13 million.
The method and form of payment may vary by county. For example, Cook County allows taxpayers to download their bill and pay online using a bank account or credit card, while Will County does not accept online payments or take credit cards. Homeowners who want to pay early should check with their county treasurer to find out how they’re able to pay and when payments must be received.