Can you take tax deduction when you pay someone else property tax?

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    Can you clarify your question? If you mean property tax in the US on property you don't own, then no. – D Stanley Feb 28 '18 at 22:37
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    Please edit your question and add a country tag. Tax rules vary. – Chris W. Rea Feb 28 '18 at 22:47

No, you cannot take a deduction for paying someone else's property tax bill. As Publication 17 says on page 151,

Generally, you can deduct property taxes only if you are an owner of the property. If your spouse owns the property and pays the real estate taxes, the taxes are deductible on your spouse's separate return or on your joint return.

  • Just for completeness, it's worth pointing out that this answer assumes the payment wouldn't be tax deductible for some other reason. For example, if you paid someone else's property tax in the ordinary course of your business, it would likely be deductible as a business expense. If you did it as part of a trade transaction, it could be indirectly deductible because it could raise your basis in whatever you traded for. If you did it as part of your hobby, it might be deductible to offset hobby profits. And so on. – David Schwartz Mar 1 '18 at 19:49
  • I would love to know a person whose hobby is paying property taxes on behalf of somebody else. – Dilip Sarwate Mar 1 '18 at 20:03
  • Well, for example, suppose your hobby is raising horses and your neighbor allows you to leave your horses on her property if you pay her property taxes. If you later sell one of those horses, the taxes you paid could be used to offset those profits. (Of course, the fact that it's property taxes is irrelevant. It's deductible because it's a legitimate hobby expense and those can be used to offset hobby profits.) – David Schwartz Mar 1 '18 at 20:04

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