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All You Need To Know About Property Tax Deduction

Did you know that you could write off those property tax payments come tax time? Yes, you read that right! But before you start claiming, make sure you know what and how much you can claim, how it stacks up against the standard deduction and the steps to claim it come tax time.

property tax deduction
Some people pay their property taxes in one lump sum, while others set aside money each month. However, when it comes to tax deductions, only the actual amount paid during the year can be claimed.

In this article

As a property owner, you must pay annual taxes assessed by the state and/or local government based on the value of your property. However, you can claim a property tax deduction on some or all of the property taxes paid if you use the property for personal use and itemize deductions on your federal tax return.

The deductible real estate taxes include those paid at closing during a home purchase or sale and those paid to the county or town’s tax assessor on the assessed value of the property. The IRS considers real property to include a main home, vacation home, land or foreign property.

Note that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) capped the property tax deduction, along with other state and local taxes, starting 2018. The cap is set at $10,000 ($5,000 for those married filing separately) to replace the previously set unlimited deduction.

What Property is Tax Deductible?

You can deduct property and real estate taxes you pay on your:

  • Primary home
  • Co-op apartment (see IRS publication 530 for special rules)
  • Vacation homes
  • Land
  • Property outside the United States
  • Cars, RVs and other road vehicles
  • Boats

What Property is Not Deductible?

You cannot avail property tax deductions for:

  • Property you don’t own
  • Property taxes you haven’t paid yet
  • Homeowners association assessments
  • Assessments for building streets, sidewalks, or water and sewer systems in your neighborhood
  • Transfer taxes on the sale of a house
  • Payments on loans that finance energy-saving home improvements. 

Note: You cannot deduct More than $10,000 ($5,000, if married filing separately) for a combination of property taxes and either state and local income taxes or sales taxes.

Itemized Property Tax Deduction

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has limited the deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes, to $10,000 ($5,000 for married individuals filing separately). This means that if you’ve paid more in taxes over the course of the year, you won’t be able to claim the full amount of your property taxes. This cap covers a combination of taxes, including property taxes, state and local income and sales taxes.

Standard Deduction

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limited the deduction for property taxes but increased the standard deduction by almost double. It’s worth mentioning that the standard deduction is adjusted for inflation each year, resulting in a continued increase.

Claiming Property Tax Deduction

To take advantage of property tax deduction, you should proceed if the total of your itemized expenses exceeds the standard deduction for the year. However, before proceeding, there are some steps you need to complete.

Double-Check the Eligibility of your Deductions

Take another look at the deductions made. Make sure you didn’t miss anything and that the information is accurate. This will make filing taxes easier and help you save more money.

Get a Copy of your Tax Records

It’s important to have a record of your property tax bills, which the government usually sends twice a year. If you don’t have a copy, contact your local tax authority. This information will help you accurately determine the taxes you paid in a given year and what you can deduct in the next. Keep in mind, you can only deduct the taxes you actually paid in a particular year.

Check your Escrow Account

If you pay your property taxes through an escrow account, your lender will send you a 1098 statement. This statement will show how much mortgage interest you paid that can be deducted, and it will also give details on the property taxes the lender paid for you. 

Use Schedule A to File

After verifying your deductions and gathering the necessary documentation, you can then fill out IRS Schedule A to claim your property tax deduction.

Deduct your property taxes in the year you pay them

Beware of a common mistake made while paying your property taxes. Some people pay their property taxes in one lump sum, while others set aside money each month. However, when it comes to tax deductions, only the actual amount paid during the year can be claimed.

Taxes paid through escrow accounts

Don’t confuse escrow payments with deductible property taxes. Escrow payments are adjusted annually but may not match the amount actually paid to the tax authority.

Key things to keep in mind:

  1. Property tax deduction discriminates against renters and promotes debt.
  2. Property tax deduction promotes homeownership.
  3. Capped property tax deduction at $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) under TCJA.
  4. Previous law had no limit on property tax deduction.
  5. Interest on homes capped at $750,000 worth of debt under new law.
  6. Fewer homeowners to itemize due to standard deduction increase.
  7. Standard deduction for tax year 2022: $25,900 for couples and $12,950 for single filers.
  8. Standard deduction for tax year 2023: $27,700 for married couples, $13,850 for single filers, $20,800 for heads of household.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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