’Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the Receiver of Taxes Office many a taxpayer was stirring – to “unwrap” the gift of 2017 tax deductions before time runs out. With the clock ticking on existing federal tax codes, a wave of taxpayers are visiting the Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Office to pay their 2018 general and second half school property taxes early in order to take advantage of tax deductions on their 2017 tax returns.
While others may be taking time off during a week normally set aside for the holidays and ushering in the New Year, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin said his staff is at the ready to assist and accept payments for those seeking to pay their 2018 general and second half school taxes before January 1, 2018. By doing so, taxpayers may be eligible to deduct the payments for federal income tax purposes on their 2017 returns. If property owners wait until the 2018 due dates to make their 2018 general and second-half school tax payments, they will likely not be able to deduct the full amount of property taxes on their 2018 returns under the new federal tax code.
“Under the new Federal Tax Code, many Long Islanders are going to lose out on valuable tax deductions,” Clavin said. “In our office, we’ve helped a significant number of taxpayers during the holiday season who are seeking to get the ‘gift’ of a tax deduction before the opportunity runs out.”
Clavin’s office has already been encouraging property owners to make early payments of their April 2018 school taxes to facilitate the deduction of the payments on 2017 income tax returns (school taxes are collected twice each year, once in October and again in April). Expanding the type of property taxes that can be pre-paid beyond second half school taxes, the Governor signed an Executive Order on Friday December 22, which will now allow the early payment of 2018 general taxes (prior to January 1, 2018). Before the executive order, Nassau County’s Administrative Code prohibited the payment of general taxes in the year prior to the one in which they were due.
The Receiver emphasized that homeowners should consult with their tax professionals before pre-paying property taxes to determine their eligibility for deducting both second half school tax and 2018 general tax payments on their 2017 income tax returns.
Clavin noted that his office will not be able to mail general tax bills out before the January 1 deadline for the prepayment of 2018 general taxes since Nassau County has not yet provided the tax warrant upon which bills are issued. However, homeowners may visit the tax office at 200 N. Franklin Street in Hempstead or call the tax office at 516-538-1500 to receive tax bill amounts. Temporary tax receipts will be issued to taxpayers making payments in person. Permanent receipts will be mailed subsequently. Those who mail payments that are postmarked prior to January 1 will be return-mailed receipts with the postmarked date as the payment date. Finally, second half school tax payments may be made online, while 2018 general tax bill payments will not be eligible for online payment (in person and mail payments only). The Receiver asked for patience from taxpayers as the office is expecting large crowds at the office and phone operators anticipate an unusually high call volume.
The hours of operation for the Receiver’s Office are being extended between Wednesday, December 27th and Friday, December 29th, and the office will be open for business on Saturday and Sunday, December 30th and 31st. During Wednesday through Friday, the office will be open from 8am – 6pm. Saturday and Sunday hours will be from 9am – 5pm.
Clavin has staff prepared to answer questions about hours of operation, payment locations, payment options (cash, e-Check, credit card, check) and other issues related to the early payment of second half school taxes and 2018 general taxes (staff will not be able to advise property owners on income tax questions, including eligibility for deductions).
“Our Receiver of Taxes office staff is prepared and ready to accept property tax payments before the New Year for neighbors who want to deduct them on their 2017 tax returns,” Clavin said. “I urge homeowners to consult with their tax professionals to determine if they can reduce their income tax burden by paying their general and April school property tax bill before December 31st of this year.”