Property-Tax Deduction and COBRA Subsidy Updates

Legislators didn't extend the COBRA subsidy. But there's still a chance that the property-tax deduction for non-itemizers will be revived.

Can I deduct my property taxes if I don’t itemize my deductions?

At the moment, no. But don’t give up hope. Non-itemizers were able to add up to $500 ($1,000 for married couples filing jointly) to their standard deduction for real estate taxes they paid in 2008 and 2009. Legislators’ attempt to extend that deduction and several other expired tax breaks for 2010 failed in June. There are several tax issues Congress must still take up before the end of the year, though, including extending income-tax rates that expire this year and reviving the estate tax that expired last year. So lawmakers will have another opportunity to reinstate the property-tax deduction for 2010.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.