‘Tis The Season To Pay Taxes

The ink is scarcely dry on the Republicans’ new tax bill. But Westport tax collector Harry Whiteley has sent this message to residents: Changes will affect your 2018 federal tax return.

He explains:

Both the House and Senate passed federal tax plans that impact deductions on property taxes that all Westport residents need to consider. The new federal tax law allows individuals to choose how to utilize state and local property and income tax deductions. In 2018, there will be a $10,000 cap on the deduction for state and local property taxes or of income and sales tax.

These taxes are due in 2018. However, they may be paid in advance — before January 1, 2018 — so they may be deducted under current IRS rules:

  • 2016 Grand List 3rd installment real estate taxes (due 1/1/2018)
  • 2016 Grand List 4th installment real estate taxes (due 4/1/2018)
  • 2016 Grand List 3rd installment personal property taxes (due 1/1/2018)
  • 2016 Grand List 4th installment personal property taxes (due 4/1/2018)
  • 2016 Grand List supplemental motor vehicle taxes (due 1/1/2018)

These are the only taxes for which pre-payment may be applied.

Payments may be made in person at the tax collector’s office in Town Hall, through Friday December 29 (by 4:30 p.m.). Town Hall offices are closed Monday and Tuesday, December 25 and 26.

Payments by mail must be postmarked by December 31. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if a receipt is desired.

To view and pay your bills online, click here.

If your real estate taxes are escrowed (paid by your bank), you must contact them to discuss payment scheduling.

Taxpayers should consult with their personal tax advisor to confirm that the early payment is appropriate.

Happy holidays!

31 responses to “‘Tis The Season To Pay Taxes

  1. Would you not be able to prepay 2017 grand list taxes? If you submit using 2016 as an estimate, they will not accept it?

  2. Matthew Mandell

    As to future year property tax I believe it can’t be paid until it has been assessed. But paying this year’s early is dead on.

    Now for those who pay CT income tax, paying your estimated now makes sense too, or paying what you might owe in April now. Since most of our property tax is over $10K, income tax would not be deductible next year. So pay it early too.


    Bottom line, we all just took it in the neck by this.

    • I suspect you did not “take it in the neck” under the new tax law – the vast majority will see savings, even many of those who live in high tax burden states like CT, NY and CA. (Note, the AMT thresholds have gone up appreciably – $500k of AGI for individual filers, $1m for those filing joint returns). But whatever your particular circumstances, your advice is sound – pre-paying property taxes in FY 2017 is wise counsel, given the $10k cap on state property tax + state income tax itemized deduction beginning in 2018.

      • The changes with respect to state and local taxes and mortgage interest have been proposed at various times since the early 1980’s. Clinton actually reduced the amount of mortgage interest that could be deducted. None of these changes should be a surprise to anyone who has been watching the formulation of tax policy for the last 35 years.

  3. I would definitely check with a tax adviser before making a decision on this. I have read that the new bill specifically disallows prepayment of property taxes. If true, you will see no tax benefit from prepayment and potentially miss out on any interest or capital gains you could earn by keeping the money in hand.

  4. Michael Calise

    2016 List (2017-18) property taxes were assessed on July 1, 2017 and were due and payable at that time except that The Town of Westport accepts delayed quarterly payments as a curtesy.

  5. As far as I know, property taxes are still prepayable under the new law. Of course, if you are an AMT person, the question is moot.

  6. Merry Christmas- and don’t forget: Make America Great Again!

  7. Lisa Marie Alter

    Reports are that due to a technicality (and an abundance of their usual and customary incompetence), ‘rump can’t sign this into law until Jan. 3 —

    Dunno ’bout anyone else, but I keep hopin’ and prayin’ rump and his band of miscreants get visited by some “spirits” over the holidays –

    Or better yet, by Robert Mueller and his band of crime fighters —

    And that there will be a way to make this entire ugly, criminal heist that rump and the GOP masterminded go the way of Nazi thugs (to jail and beyond)…

    Before it’s foisted on We, the American People…

    AND, perhaps this will *finally* convince those who continue to vote against their own interests… (yeah, never mind 🙄 #MAGAMorons)

    #ImpeachTrumpNow #ImpeachTheEntireGOP #GreedOverPeople

    • Sorry to be the bearer of news you don’t care for, but President Trump (mine and yours) signed the Tax Bill into law this morning.

      • Lisa Marie Alter

        NeverMyPresident, Jack – or shall we call you “Liddle’ [sic] Jack Whittle,” as trump would say (in his inimitable, moronic way…as he laughs all the way to DeutscheBank’s Moscow branch – with Americans’ hard-earned money. 😡

        It’s time to pass on the Orange Kool-Aid, Jack – you’ve been played, “BIGLY.”

        Lisa Marie Alter

        • “rump”, “Nazi thugs”, “Liddle”, “Orange Kool-Aid”….way to go Lisa, it seems you like to use a form of communication you claim you don’t like.
          Like it or not, Trump is your President and there is nothing your imagination can visualize to make it otherwise.
          Enjoy your tax break, and if your not getting a break, blame the State of Connecticut…

      • At least he didn’t sign it at Mar-A-Lago. Smart guy.

  8. Rebecca Ellsley

    Since I doubt our taxes will be going down couldn’t we over pay now and have it applied. Whatt ever difference is needed can be paid before final due date. ( if by any miricale chance taxes go down wouldn’t extra money be applied to future payments?). AGAIN NOT a tax expert.

  9. Nazi thugs? That’s going a little too far.

    • Russell Gontar

      When the Russian stalled, fake president stated that there “many fine people on all sides” who participated in the nazi rallies in Charleston, THAT was going way too far.

  10. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    “Tis the season to be (hypocritical) jolly.” No matter how low taxes for the wealthy may go, the wealthy will always stay up late, hire the best tax help their money can buy and exchange those helpful hints with each other while at the same time protesting the injustice of those tax cuts on Dan’s blog. Is there any difference between a limousine liberal and a limousine conservative? At this point, in the immortal words of a person who is both: “What difference does it make?” Festivus, the season for posting of grievances. “Taxes are for the little people.”

  11. Chip Stephens SHS '73

    To All My Liberal Friends:
    Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion, and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
    I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2018, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other countries nor the only “America” in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of the wishees.

    To My Conservative Friends:
    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year!

    • Chip,

      That is hilarious. THANKS for nailing it for all of us. No matter where we stand on the political spectrum — or whether we live in Westport or Vancouver — we are all part of this great “06880” community. Thanks for helping make this a wonderful place.

      And for the next couple of hours at least, this will be a safe space for everyone.

      Unless you are opposed to “safe spaces,” of course!

    • Thank you, Chip! This made my day.

      Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!


  12. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Dear Chip,
    As you celebrate the season in your hermetically sealed, insensitive and elitist dwelling, please try to self-medicate a little holiday guilt/misery for yourself.The correct term is not “winter solstice” it’s “Thermodynamically challenging.” Remorsefully yours, EWB SHS ’70

    • Lisa Marie Alter

      Dan – I disagree:
      Chip gives me the creeps. #CaveDwellerSensiblility
      #IfBeingALibMeansBeingAKindGoodHumanThenCountMeIn #ConservativeIsADirtyWordIn2018 #BarbaraWasAnHonorableWoman #WhatWentWrong

      • #beingakindnicepersonhasnothingtodowithyourpolitcalaffiliation

      • Lisa – thank you for so perfectly demonstrating the crazy liberal intolerance of anyone other than one who shares their own political views. Exactly what you claim to NOT be all about. Merry Christmas just the same, may you find peace and love for your fellow men and women, regardless of who they vote for.

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

          Jack, eliminating the deficit would be more likely. 😉

        • Lisa Marie Alter

          Yeah, Jack:
          I am; I’m intolerant of intolerance.

          Meanwhile, as you gather over next days around your punchbowls and in your places of worship, and exclaim “Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Men” ask yourself how any of the policies being enacted by your “Orange Dear Leader” can be possibly be representative of people of kindness and good values:
          Denying children health care, throwing 13 million off of health insurance, polluting our air and water, destroying protected lands, violating Native American rights, creating a crisis in the Middle East, inciting a war with NoKo, alienating U.S. allies, allowing hibernating animals to be killed, taking MealsOnWheels away from grandmas, ICE agents raiding immigrant communities, with children living in fear and other families cruelly separated and incarcerated, acts, statements and legislation demonstrating misogyny/xenophobia/anti-LGBTQ/racist and generally hateful language and behavior… this list could go on for days…

          But, I’m sure you’ll find a way to mind-fuck yourself into believing that “yeah, this is all good stuff”…

          SO on that note,
          Merry Christmas, Jack…May you and yours get everything you deserve this holiday and in the New Year.

          Lisa Marie Alter

          • It appears there is a secret branch in government tasked with the job of thinking up new ways to be mean, spiteful and oppressive to the very people who require government help the most – those at the lower end of the socio economic scale – witness yesterday’s reporting that the Dept of Labor proposes to allow food service company owners to require tips be pooled but to also be free not to disburse said tips to the staff at all!.
            Yet another example that Trump is really good at bullying those weaker than he who can’t fight back but dare not say boo to anyone who may –

          • Lisa,
            You’re slacking, you forgot to mention the word “Nazi” in your comment….

  13. So New York Governor has just signed legislation allowing the pre-payment of 2018 taxes – https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO_172.pdf

    Will Gov Malloy follow suit?