11 Dec 2017

Living415: Property tax due tomorrow! And, a potential strategy for saving some bucks.

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First, Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow is the last day to pay the first installment of your 2017-2018 property taxes without a 10% penalty.  

To pay your San Francisco property tax, click here.

Second, I want to take just a moment to distill the thoughts I’ve been having about the current Republican Tax Reform effort:  OH MY.  

The tax reform plan may not really become effective due to some “glitches,” but it is probably prudent to observe some of the punitive portions of the proposed legislation directed at states with relatively high property values and therefore relatively high property taxes, which are:

  • Eliminating some or all of the mortgage interest deduction,
  • Limiting the deductibility of property tax payments; AND
  • Shortening depreciation on investment properties.  

These things might affect many of my clients as, well, the opposite of a tax cut.  While I’m happy to pay taxes in the larger sense, I don’t much like it that it that my clients are going to foot the bill for massive tax cuts to only the biggest corporations.

Of immediate and actionable interest:  according to FORBES, and many other sources, both the House and Senate versions agree to limit property tax deduction to $10,000 per year.  In the past, property taxes on a personal residence could be deducted without limit.  If your property taxes are more than $10,000 a year on all of your personal residences, it might makes sense to pay all of them for the 2017-2018 tax year tomorrow (or, at any rate, before the end of 2017) if you can.   If you’re taxes are figured using the AMT rather than itemized deductions, this change might make no difference to you at all.  I am not a tax expert, just a Realtor reading the newspaper trying to make sense of it all, so please do check with your tax advisor. 

Many thanks to Living415sters Anne and Jesse for pointing out this workaround to me today.  I couldn’t do any of this without ALL OF YOU!  Thank you for your referrals, ideas and support.