Accountants, tax collectors urge some homeowners to file now

HEMPSTEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- Tax collectors across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are urging some homeowners to pay their second half school taxes before January 1, 2018, to avoid getting hit hard by stipulations in the proposed federal tax bill.

Don Clavin, the Town of Hempstead's receiver of taxes, said homeowners who pay their second half school taxes before January 1 may be eligible to deduct the payment for federal income tax purposes on their 2017 return.

If property owners wait until the April 1, 2018, due date, they will likely not be able to deduct the property tax amount. The tax deduction is capped at $10,000.

"Pay it now, don't wait. If you can afford it, make that payment before December 31 so you can have that deduction," Clavin said.

Clavin said even those who pay their taxes through their mortgage should consider filing now.

"At the end of the year when your bank basically evens it all out, they'll have to issue a refund," he said.

Those who fall in the alternative minimum tax (AMT) should not pay early.

"If you're in the alternative minimum tax and you prepay more state taxes in 2017, you're going to lose the benefit of the $10,000 deduction in 2018," explained Jeffrey Cohen, a tax partner at Grassi & Co. based in Jericho.

Cohen said people should contact their accountant to find out if they are in the AMT.

Clavin and Cohen recommended everyone call their accountant to discuss paying their taxes early. If you don't have an accountant, Clavin recommended you contact your congressional representative who may be able to provide some assistance.
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