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    Property Taxes

    My client paid prior year's 2017 property taxes in calendar year 2018. Can the client claim on 2017 Tax return?

    #2
    No - it's only deductible in the year actually paid.
    Uncle Sam, CPA, EA. ARA, NTPI Fellow

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      #3
      As a cash basis, calendar year taxpayer, no.

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        #4
        Just to throw in a finer point. Many counties bill quarterly on a fiscal year basis so the 4th qtr bill is generally paid in the next calendar year. I have my clients bring in copies of checks or stamped receipts from the tax collector to see the dates paid.
        Taxes after all are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. - FDR

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          #5
          Originally posted by ATSMAN View Post
          I have my clients bring in copies of checks or stamped receipts from the tax collector to see the dates paid.
          In California, just about every county assessor has a publicly available web site that lists the dates and amounts of property tax payments made. I think this is true in some other states too, when I've looked.


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            #6
            Agree. I routinely check online records for real property tax billings and the dates of payment. (It's also useful for weeding out late payment fees and/or interest.) Unfortunately, the ease of retrieving such information is not uniform throughout the state.
            Personal property taxes are a bit stickier, but now that driver license numbers are used for efiling, it's quite simple to access the DMV records for those county vehicle taxes, to include payment dates.
            As much as is reasonably possible, I discourage clients from bringing in their checks etc. I do prefer to see the "real" receipts for donations.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Rapid Robert View Post
              In California, just about every county assessor has a publicly available web site that lists the dates and amounts of property tax payments made. I think this is true in some other states too, when I've looked.

              I think I like the California web site for property tax payments. Here in MA in my county and surrounding counties the payment records are NOT available for public view. Only the assessed amount! I suppose taxpayers who pay online can get me those details as getting paid receipts. BTW here in MA if you pay online using a credit card you are charged an additional fee, so most of my clients either drop off a check or mail it in.
              Taxes after all are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. - FDR

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                #8
                Most places do charge extra for using a credit card. Use of such is essentially tossing $$ away, especially when property tax bills can be. . .hefty.
                Simple solution is to use your bank's Bill Pay option, which essentially electronically transfers funds at no additional cost. If the government agency is still in the dark ages, a paper check will instead be sent.
                The property tax bill for my residence became available online some time in the early summer. I immediately scheduled a bill pay (via Wells Fargo) for the payment due date of September 1st and never looked back. The payment was made on the appropriate date, and appears both with my county tax account info and on my monthly bank statement. (What's a check??)

                FE

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                  #9
                  I personally prefer Bill Pay to pay utility, local tax bills etc. Perhaps our counties are not up to speed because I have heard horror stories from people who used ACH debit to pay a property tax bill and then finding out that the tax was not credited to the account in time triggering penalties that were later challenged and reversed.
                  Taxes after all are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. - FDR

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