Some State and Local Tax Deduction Advice May No Longer Be Applicable
By Diane Giordano, Partner, Tax & Business Services
While we all anxiously awaited the finalizing of the proposed tax legislation, The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, many tax advisors were suggesting clients prepay state and local income and property taxes related to year end 2018 in 2017. This is because it was clear in the proposed legislation that these deductions will be eliminated, or severely limited, after 2017.
Prior to finalizing the potential new law, the drafters made clear that any prepayments of 2018 personal state and local income taxes in 2017 will not be treated as a 2017 deduction. For those individuals planning on prepaying 2018 income taxes in advance of 2018, the proposed law states such payment will not provide a 2017 income tax deduction.
By prepaying a prior year tax in a current year, many advisors thought that those eligible would be able to reap a final benefit for state and local tax deductions. Many articles and news commentaries from tax advisors, attorneys and tax collectors in town halls were providing advice and suggesting ways to prepay for those interested.
However, while a deduction for prepayments of 2018 state and local income taxes is not available, we still recommend planning for prepayment of 2017 state and local income taxes that pertain to 2017, up to the amount allowable, and not limited by the alternative minimum tax (AMT). The rule noted above does not apply to realty taxes. Many towns and cities encourage prepayment of the 2018 town and school taxes in order to benefit from the itemized deductions while available. (Information about availability of town and local school tax prepayments can likely be found online within your town’s website.)
The tax advisors at Marcum LLP will continue to assist you in clarifying these new proposals and to make suggestions to maximize 2017 deductions in light of the potential legislation.