WASHINGTON - New Jersey Reps.Leonard Lance (R-7th) and Josh Gottheimer (R-5th) hosted a meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday with Acting IRS Commissioner David J. Kautter concerning prepayments of 2018 property taxes in 2017.

The IRS previously issued a ruling stating it would allow the deductibility of 2018 property taxes paid in 2017 only if the property taxes had been assessed in 2017.  Lance and Gottheimer urged that the deduction should be expanded to include all 2018 property taxes paid in 2017, regardless of the date of assessment.

“Our meeting was productive.  Over $300 million dollars in property tax prepayments were made by my constituents in late 2017 and I will continue to make the case that all 2018 property tax prepayments be fully deductible on 2017 tax returns," Lance said.  "These payments were made in good faith and some payments were made before the IRS issued its unfair ruling.  I also raised the important issue of comity between federal and state governments.

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"The day the IRS issued its ruling, Governor Christie issued an executive order directing municipalities to accept property tax prepayments for all of 2018.  I gave the Commissioner a copy of Governor Christie’s executive order to review,” Lance added.   

“New Jersey needs lower taxes for residents and for businesses of all sizes, especially after  Tax Hike Bill gutted the State and Local Tax Deduction. Today, Rep. Leonard Lance and I sent the IRS Commissioner a clear, bipartisan message: don’t change the rules mid-game on New Jersey taxpayers. Allow the full deduction of all 2018 property tax prepayments.  While I was encouraged by today’s meeting, I will continue to hold the IRS’s feet to the fire and fight for tax relief for North Jersey,” Gottheimer said.

Earlier this year, Lance wrote to Kautter and requested the Agency reconsider IRS Advisory IR-2017-210 issued on Dec. 27, 2017 regarding the tax deductibility of prepaid state and local property taxes.  That ruling stated the IRS would allow the deductibility of 2018 property taxes paid in 2017 only if the property taxes had been assessed in 2017.  Lance suggested the deduction should be expanded to all 2018 property taxes regardless of the date of assessment and introduced H.R. 4803, which would mandate it.  Gottheimer is a cosponsor of H.R. 4803.

President Trump signed the Tax Act into law on Dec. 22, 2017.  The law clearly prohibits individuals from deducting the prepayment of future state and local income taxes, but does not mention whether or not the prepayment of state and local property taxes would be deductible.  This led many individuals to prepay their entire 2018 property tax liability prior to the issuance of the IRS Advisory, believing that it would be deductible on their 2017 tax returns.  Christie issued an executive order on Dec.27, 2017, mandating that all municipalities in New Jersey accept the prepayment of property taxes for the entirety of 2018.  This action caused many more New Jersey residents to prepay their 2018 property tax bill than would otherwise have been the case.   

“I will continue to seek either a bipartisan legislative solution or an IRS ruling fixing this problem.  I will continue to press the issue in Congress and with the IRS,” Lance said.