What if my property/real estate taxes are paid through my mortgage lender?
It should be included in escrow if that's how you set up your mortgage. Form 1098 should report the real estate tax paid if that's the case. If you’re unsure, call your lender and ask.
You can also contact your county office. As long as the real estate tax was paid, you can deduct it, regardless if your document shows it or not.
Keep in mind, if your monthly mortgage payment includes an amount placed in escrow (put in the care of a third party) for real estate taxes, you can’t necessarily deduct the total amount. You can only deduct the property/real estate tax that was actually paid by the third party to the taxing authority, on your behalf.
When should you take the deduction?
You should take the deduction in the year the tax was paid. If your lender made a tax payment on your behalf in October 2016, to cover your 2017 real estate tax amount, you should take the deduction for 2016.
Check your 1098
When your property/real estate taxes are included on your 1098 you’ll enter them as part of your mortgage interest. But, if they aren’t listed on your 1098, you’ll enter them separately as property/real estate taxes. We’ll let you know where to enter your property/real estate taxes in TurboTax.