Can You Prepay Property Taxes For 2018? Technically, But Here's What You Should Know Before Doing So

Ad failed to load

With a new federal tax law set to take effect Monday, many Americans are now asking if they can prepay property taxes for 2018 before they lose the ability to deduct the entire bill on their federal taxes, according to ABC. With the new Republican tax law, deductions for state and local income and property taxes cap at a combined $10,000. Homeowners in states with high property taxes are therefore in a rush to pay now and save later by taking advantage of the federal deduction one last time before it's scaled back under the tax-code overhaul.

In short: The new law that was approved by Congress last week and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday isn't exactly ideal for residents in states like New Jersey with high property taxes. And a lot of homeowners are making moves — last year there were 1,700 or so property tax prepayments, but this year there have been nearly 48,000 so far, a 26-fold increase, according to ABC.

"If I could prepay half of my property taxes for next year, to take advantage of it this tax year, based on what my accountant’s told me, I would save almost $1,000," New Jersey resident Wayne DeFeo said during PBS Newshour. "And that goes to my pocket."

Ad failed to load

The tax law explicitly states that the $10,000 deduction cap cannot be avoided by prepayment of 2018 income taxes but it doesn't mention whether this applies to prepaid property taxes, according to The Washington Post.

The IRS responded to a flood of questions on Wednesday stating that, in order to claim that deduction, you have to have received a property tax bill. In other words: You can't just pay an estimate, so filers could only avoid the cap by paying property taxes that have been assessed, billed, and paid in 2017. And many local governments, including most Washington-area jurisdictions, have not yet completed assessments for upcoming years, The Washington Post reported. That said, counties across the country have different laws and timelines for assessing property taxes, which means that it'll be difficult for the IRS to enforce anything. Technically, you can prepay your 2018 property taxes, it seems.

Ad failed to load

But, prepaying doesn't necessarily make sense for some homeowners — especially for those whose itemized deductions are less than the new standard deduction of $24,000 for married couples or $12,000 for individuals, according to ABC.

While Kenneth DeGraw, a partner at national public accounting firm WithumSmith+Brown, told that, if you've got the means to do so, you generally should prepay your property taxes for 2018, he does warn some homeowners against doing so. Anyone who falls under the alternative minimum tax, which is a parallel tax system that traps many middle-income earners, won't benefit from prepaying.

Ad failed to load

Plus, also pointed out that, while homeowners are smart to do whatever they can to save some money in the short term, without a legislative fix, this is, "at best, one-shot relief." Homeowners won't be able to prepay property taxes in perpetuity, and Congress will inevitably have to address this issue in January 2018.


In essence: This new tax bill, which Trump signed off in a rush before shipping out for his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, for the holidays, is confusing. What we do know for sure is the average homeowner in the United States already pays $3,296 in property taxes — and, in New Jersey, for one, that number climbs to $8,549, according to the nation’s largest property database, ATTOM Data Solutions. We also know that blue states will be hit hardest by the deduction, as they're typically the states that have higher taxes, according to The New York Times.

Ad failed to load

Happy filing!

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills