Shawano County not swept up in pre-pay property tax panic

Tax accountants report fielding calls on pre-paying

Leader Staff

A change in federal tax law that limits the deductibility of local property taxes has spurred residents in a number of states, including Wisconsin, to make a last-minute rush to pre-pay next year’s property taxes and avoid the deductibility cap.

In Wisconsin, however, the effort is wasted as Wisconsin property owners are not allowed to pre-pay their estimated property taxes a year ahead of time.

Also, according to the IRS, those who do pay early are likely to be hit with the same deductibility limit anyway when they file their tax returns next year.

While many in Wisconsin flocked to their local government offices to pre-pay property taxes this week, the same kind of year-end panic has apparently not gripped Shawano County.

Shawano County Treasurer Deb Wallace said there have been “a few questions here” about the tax law change, but not the kind of rush and lines of people wanting to pre-pay that have been seen elsewhere.

“It’s happening in the bigger counties,” she said. “I am getting emails from other county treasurers saying they are being bombarded with those questions.”

Some local tax accountants reported fielding a number of calls as well.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue sent an email to local treasurers on Friday that cited “an increased number of inquiries” about the issue and said prepayment of 2018 taxes could only be made from Aug. 1 to Dec. 17.

The new federal law increases the standard income tax deduction but limits to $10,000 the amount of state and local taxes that filers can deduct from their federal tax bill.