Hempstead tax receiver offers tips before GOP tax plan is enacted

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A press conference held by a Hempstead Town tax receiver got more attention than usual Thursday as the Republican tax plan is on the verge of becoming law. 

"We've been inundated with a lot of inquiries because of all the changes that are happening in Washington with the federal tax law," said Donald Clavin, Hempstead Town's receiver of taxes. "These changes they're making in Washington, D.C. are an assault on all the residents of the tri-state area. 

Among the most burdensome provisions of the tax bill is the $10,000 cap on the amount of state and local taxes that people can deduct. It would hit especially hard in high tax states like New York.

Clavin urged residents to pay the second half of their 2018 school taxes before the end of the year in order to "get the deduction on their 2017 taxes."

"If they wait until April to pay their second half school taxes, they're not going to enjoy that deduction," he says. 

Jon Ten Haagen, a financial planner in Huntington Station, points to several other steps that Long Islanders can take before the end of the year to limit the damage from the new tax bill. They include increasing donations to charities, paying off home equity loans and selling stocks that have made a profit.

"If you can get the deduction, and a deduction is a wonderful thing, take it now if you can, if you can afford it," says Haagen. "Some of them will not be there next year."

One piece of important advice before taking any of those steps is to contact a tax advisor or financial planner to talk about your specific situation.

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