Along with the changing of the calendar comes the posting online of property tax bills which will be due in March for Cook County.
Why Would Owners Pay Tax Installments Early?
Maria Pappas, Cook County treasurer, posted Cook County property tax bills online so property owners could pay their first installment before the end of 2018, allowing them to take advantage of an itemized deduction on their income taxes
Homeowners who paid property taxes due in 2018 before the end of 2017—to take advantage of the previously uncapped deduction for property taxes which is now capped at $10,000 after the federal tax overhaul of 2017—could have used this early-released installment amount to again pay early to create the itemized deduction.
The tax amounts were put online early because federal law only allows prepayment of property taxes when the actual bills are known, 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.
Homeowners should speak to their tax professionals about whether the standard deduction, which is $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married filers, is the better way to go than itemizing.
How to Find a Tax Bill
Those who did not pay their 2019 tax bill before the end of 2018 can still see their tax bill online by visiting www.cookcountytreasurer.com. They should click on the purple box that says, “Your Property Tax Overview.” The tax bills are listed either by address or by the 14-digit property index number for the property. The first installment is approximately 55 percent of the prior year’s total tax.
People can also sign up on the site to receive their property tax bills via email going forward.
If people feel that any of the information on their property taxes are incorrect, such as the specific information on the square footage or the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, or that there are missing exemptions, they can appeal their property taxes. However, even if property owners are appealing their taxes, they need to pay the first installment by March 2019.
To find out the property tax exemptions for which a property might be eligible, owners can do so on the Cook County Treasurer’s website.