New guidance from the IRS that limits taxpayers’ ability to deduct prepaid property levies on their 2017 tax returns is causing confusion nationwide as people rush to pay in advance without knowing whether they’re wasting their time and money.

The IRS said Wednesday that taxpayers can deduct prepaid state and local property taxes for 2018 on 2017 returns only if the taxes were assessed before 2018. The brief guidance, which doesn’t define the term “assessed," had local tax officials in numerous states scratching their heads.

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