By Peter Jamison, Jeff Stein and Patricia Sullivan December 27
People across the United States rushed this week to pay their 2018 property taxes early, hoping to take advantage one last time of a federal deduction that will be scaled back under the tax-code overhaul signed by President Trump.
On Wednesday, however, the Internal Revenue Service announced that those prepayments could be deducted only in limited circumstances, a decision that appeared to invalidate many taxpayers' efforts and raised the prospect that local governments could come under pressure to refund millions of dollars.
The announcement stoked confusion surrounding one of the most controversial elements of the tax law — a $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes that will disproportionately affect higher-tax, Democratic-leaning states. It also offered a glimpse of the kind of hiccups that could arise in coming weeks as the IRS releases guidance on other facets of the bill, the largest overhaul of federal tax law in three decades.
In affluent states with high taxes and property values, local officials have been besieged in recent days by people trying to pay their 2018 property taxes early so they can deduct those payments before the cap takes effect. More...