Illinois News

Illinois counties receive historic number of tax prepayments

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 29, 2017 10:10 am

QUINCY -- People across the country are rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes by the end of the year to capitalize on a deduction that will be removed under the new tax plan recently signed by President Donald Trump.

There is currently no limit on deductions for state and local taxes, but the new tax plan will cap such deductions at $10,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Adams County has accepted prepayments on property taxes for many years. Adams County Treasurer Terry Asher said the office has been running two machines to accept payments.

"It's almost like the due date," Asher said, "which is the busiest time of the year."

The office accepted $567,000 in prepayments last December. Asher said the office accepted almost $800,000 on Tuesday, another $600,000 on Wednesday and more than $100,000 in the first hour of being open Thursday.

"Normally, this is the quietest week of the entire year," Asher said. "It's when we clean house and when people go on vacation."

Asher recommends Adams County residents looking to make prepayments come into the office to do so. Any mailed payments must be postmarked on or before Dec. 31.

"This is something we had done before I got here but never like this," Asher said. "I wouldn't have predicted this two weeks ago."

Hancock County has received more than $300,000 in prepayments, twice what the Hancock County treasurer's office usually receives.

"There's still a couple more days, so I anticipate even more," said Hancock County Treasurer Kristine Pilkington. "It's been really crazy."

Pilkington said most people have been urged to submit the early prepayments by their accountants.

Pike County instituted a prepay period for the first time this year after the passage of the new tax bill. Pike County Treasurer Scott Syrcle said the office has received between $300,000 and $400,000. Syrcle said he isn't sure yet if the prepay period will be a one-time event or will be continued next year.

Still, many people banking on being able to make their regular deductions one last time could be disappointed.

The Internal Revenue Service announced on Wednesday that 2018 taxes prepaid in 2017 may only be deducted under certain circumstances, depending on whether the property taxes are assessed before 2018. A prepayment of anticipated property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017, the IRS said.

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