How Cook County homeowners can get a sneak peak at 2019 tax bills

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 12/5/2018 6:14 AM
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  • The Cook County treasurer's office has released the first installments of 2018 property tax bills early, so taxpayers can deduct their payments on 2018 income tax returns if they want. The bills are really due March 1, 2019.

    The Cook County treasurer's office has released the first installments of 2018 property tax bills early, so taxpayers can deduct their payments on 2018 income tax returns if they want. The bills are really due March 1, 2019.

  • Maria Pappas

    Maria Pappas

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has posted the amount due for the first installment of property taxes owed in 2019.

The taxes aren't due until March 1 of next year, but paying early could have tax ramifications for thousands of homeowners.

Property owners could pay the amount due before the end of 2018 to potentially maximize income tax deductions for this year.

The federal tax overhaul of 2017 capped deductions for property taxes at $10,000. Previously, there was no cap. That change sent thousands of property owners throughout the state into a frenzy to pay property taxes due in 2018 before the end of 2017 to take advantage of the uncapped deduction one last time.

By releasing the first installment amounts now, Pappas is giving property owners who paid early last year the opportunity to create an itemized deduction they otherwise might not have.

The information is available on the treasurer's website, cookcountytreasurer.com. Click on the purple box titled "You Property Tax Overview" and enter a property's unique property identification number to see what is owed in the first installment.

It's important that the tax amounts were released early because federal law allows prepayment of property taxes only in cases where the actual bills are known and not an estimate of what could be owed. Payments received on or before Dec. 31, 2018, can be claimed on income tax forms due in April 2019, tax professionals said.

However, the standard deduction, which is now $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married filers, might be more valuable than itemizing deductions. Anyone planning to pay property taxes early should consult with a professional or run calculations through tax preparation software to determine which method benefits them the most.

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