Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Industry Tip: Save Money By Filing A Property Tax Return

Photo by Mint Software on Flickr.

Lately, I've been talking a lot about the tax incentives for first-time buyers that are not available for existing homeowners. Fortunately there is another way for existing homeowners to take advantage of the down market and reduce their property taxes. For those knowledgeable in the real estate industry probably know about this, but I'm sure the majority of the country is unaware that you can file a residential property tax return to contest your county's property valuation.

According to an article from Knowledgeplex, "Real estate records show hundreds of properties for sale today at a fraction of their taxable values.". Assessors are required by law to set the value of what the property would be worth in a fair market sale. Typically they will not use distressed sales such as foreclosures as a part of their calculation, but due to the current situation of the economy these variables may be required when setting values for 2009. Having said all that, now is the time to take advantage of this tax re-assessment and save some money. A residential property tax return is a simple process, which I will outline for you below and I highly recommend you look into further. Plus, who wouldn't love to find a way to save money...I know I certainly would!

How To File A Property Tax Return To Lower Your Taxes (NYC):
  1. Fill out respective tax form based on property class at NYC Finance.
  2. Mail your respective form to the: NYC Department of Finance, Property Division, 66 John Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10038 BY APRIL.
  3. Finance will evaluate information you have provided and make appropriate changes before they determine your next year's taxes.
* For other county's, contact your county tax assessor directly or go to their website for more information.

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