Wisconsin Taxpayers CANNOT Prepay 2018 Real Estate Taxes
You would think the day after Christmas would be a pretty quiet day at the office…The phone has been ringing off the hook. It seems that the chatter around the Christmas tree was all about the new tax reform. It’s the old, “My neighbor said I could deduct this” theory that we often get. So, I am here to set the record straight….go tell your neighbor they are wrong 🙂
There are news articles out there encouraging taxpayers to prepay their 2018 property taxes now to save money in taxes. While this would be an effective strategy for some taxpayers due to the higher standard deduction in the tax reform, it is not going to work in Wisconsin. Some other states, mainly on the east coast, have a different way of billing for property taxes which may allow them to pay for 2018 now. However, based on Wisconsin state statutes you cannot do that if you own real estate here. Wisconsin is just billing out the 2017 real estate taxes now, your 2018 assessment will not be available until next year.
Here is what your local village or county will tell you:
The Village is not collecting 2018 property taxes which are due January 31, 2019. Per state statute, the Village may not accept prepayments on 2018 taxes in 2017.
State statute 74.13(1)(b)(3) reads “…General property taxes, special assessments, special charges and special taxes may be paid in advance of the levy during the period from August 1 until the 3rd Monday in December.” 2018 property tax amounts will not be available until December 2018.
While it may be a good idea for some to try and take advantage of the last year with the old rules of itemize deductions, unfortunately this is not an option. However, if you typically pay your real estate tax bill in installments, it may make more sense for you to pay your entire 2017 tax bill before the year ends.