In Florida we receive our real estate tax bills for 2005 in November 2005 and are due by March 2006. If I paid them in January 2006 can I still take the deduction on my 2005 return?
Typically, in Florida real estate taxes are paid one year in arrears. Essentially this means that your 2006 taxes are paid in 2007.
Your real estate taxes become a lien against your property on November 1st and delinquent on April 1st 2008. If you pay your taxes in November you'll normally receive a 4.00% discount, December 3.00%, January 2.00%, and February 1.00%. This discount is mandated by Florida statutes.
If your taxes are not paid by April 1st of 2008, then a three percent (3.00%) penalty is added, along with advertising costs.
However, for income tax purposes if you do not pay them prior to December 31st then you cannot "claim" them until the following tax year if you are an individual. Your IRS tax return is based on the current calendar year. You would not be able to "claim" these taxes in 2007 if you did not pay them until 2008.
This answer relates to your personal income tax return and your personal residence in Florida, it is not intended to be an answer regarding commercial property real estate taxes, nor corporate tax returns.