If you have a mortgage with an escrow account to pay your property taxes and insurance, you expect the company servicing your loan to pay this year’s taxes this year so that you can deduct them on your 2018 income tax return. After all, your monthly payment includes 1/12 the annual amount so there will be money available for them to be paid on time.IRS requires that expenses must actually be paid in the year that a deduction is to be taken.
The predicament occurs when you’ve made your payments but the mortgage company didn’t pay the taxing authority in the tax year they were due. If they paid your 2018 taxes in January of 2019, they wouldn’t be deductible for you until you file your 2019 income tax return.
Verify with your lender after you make the December payment that they did indeed pay your property taxes. The question for your lender’s customer service is: “Have you or will you pay the 2018 property taxes this year so I’m eligible to deduct them on my 2018 income tax return?”