U.S. Representatives Leonard Lance (NJ-7) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) hosted a meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday with Acting IRS Commissioner David J. Kautter. The IRS previously issued a ruling stating it would allow the deductibility of 2018 property taxes paid in 2017 only if the property taxes had been assessed in 2017. Lance and Gottheimer urged that the deduction should be expanded to include all 2018 property taxes paid in 2017, regardless of the date of assessment.
“Our meeting was productive. Over $300 million dollars in property tax prepayments were made by my constituents in late 2017 and I will continue to make the case that all 2018 property tax prepayments be fully deductible on 2017 tax returns. These payments were made in good faith and some payments were made before the IRS issued its unfair ruling. I also raised the important issue of comity between federal and state governments. The day the IRS issued its ruling, Governor Christie issued an executive order directing municipalities to accept property tax prepayments for all of 2018. New Jerseyans made prepayment only to see the IRS issue a contradictory order. Taxpayers and municipalities need an answer to this uncertainty,” said Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7).
“New Jersey needs lower taxes for residents and for businesses of all sizes, especially after Tax Hike Bill gutted the State and Local Tax Deduction. Today, Rep. Leonard Lance and I sent the IRS Commissioner a clear, bipartisan message: don’t change the rules mid-game on New Jersey taxpayers. Allow the full deduction of all 2018 property tax prepayments. While I was encouraged by today’s meeting, I will continue to hold the IRS’s feet to the fire and fight for tax relief for North Jersey,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).
Earlier this year, Lance wrote to Kautter and requested the Agency reconsider IRS Advisory IR-2017-210 issued on December 27, 2017 regarding the tax deductibility of prepaid state and local property taxes. That ruling stated the IRS would allow the deductibility of 2018 property taxes paid in 2017 only if the property taxes had been assessed in 2017. Lance suggested the deduction should be expanded to all 2018 property taxes regardless of the date of assessment and introduced H.R. 4803, a bipartisan bill co-led by Lance and Gottheimer, which would mandate it.
President Trump signed the Tax Act into law on December 22, 2017. The law clearly prohibits individuals from deducting the prepayment of future state and local income taxes, but does not mention whether or not the prepayment of state and local property taxes would be deductible. This led many individuals to prepay their entire 2018 property tax liability prior to the issuance of the IRS Advisory, believing that it would be deductible on their 2017 tax returns. Governor Christie issued an executive order on December 27, 2017, mandating that all municipalities in the State accept the prepayment of property taxes for the entirety of 2018. This action caused many more New Jersey residents to prepay their 2018 property tax bill than would otherwise have been the case.