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Government & Politics

The GOP Tax Plan Has Confused Taxpayers Trying to Figure Out their Real Estate Payments

Summit County Fiscal Office
Summit County

Local property tax offices throughout Ohio have been inundated this week by attempts to pay 2018 real estate taxes early. But an IRS ruling yesterday may have abruptly changed that – and sown more confusion.

The tax bill signed by President Trump last week caps property-tax deductions beginning next year. So homeowners have been paying first-half real estate taxes this week to get the deduction on this year’s taxes.

But the IRS now   says people can only get deductions if actual tax bills have been assessed, something that doesn’t happen in Ohio until next month.

Jack LaMonica, chief of staff for the Summit County Fiscal Office, says that’s added a lot of uncertainty.

“I don’t know if the individuals who wrote the bill actually knew how to implement the bill and what needed to be done, so therefore there’s a lot of confusion out there.”

LaMonica says his office, by law, cannot give tax advice, so he’s suggesting people consult with their tax advisors.

The IRS directive appears to apply to anyone who pays estimated taxes in advance – even if they’ve done it in previous years.