Racing against time, literally, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin opened the tax office in America’s largest township on New Year’s Eve for homeowners looking to pre-pay their 2018 property taxes before the new federal tax code goes into effect. Homeowners are scrambling against “Father Time” to pre-pay their 2018 property taxes in 2017 so that payments may be deducted on their 2017 income tax returns. After December 31st, the new federal tax code will cap deductions at $10,000. It is unprecedented that the Hempstead Town Tax Receiver’s Office has opened on a weekend to accept tax payments.
“We’ve taken the unprecedented step of opening the Receiver of Taxes Office on a weekend to help taxpayers who are trying to pre-pay 2018 property taxes so they can deduct the payments on their 2017 income tax returns,” stated Clavin. “I never thought that I would be spending my New Year’s Eve at the Receiver of Taxes Office, but I am very glad to be able to help taxpayers cope with the new federal tax code.”
Instead of champagne toasts and party streamers, taxpayers across Hempstead Town are acting upon an IRS opinion that indicates eligible property owners may pre-pay 2018 general and second half school taxes before January 1, 2018—and deduct the payments on 2017 income tax returns. After December 31st, a new federal tax code will go into effect, capping deductions at $10,000. Many residents in high tax areas such as Long Island have property taxes and other deductible expenses that far exceed the cap.
Clavin’s office has been flooded with taxpayers since the day after Christmas, and his staff has processed thousands upon thousands of taxpayers who are seeking to beat the December 31st deadline.
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.
While general tax bills will not arrive in homeowners’ mailboxes before January 1st, residents can visit the tax office at 200 North Franklin Street in Hempstead to make payments. Staff will be on hand to supply property owners with the tax amounts due for 2018, and they will be issuing temporary receipts (permanent receipts to be forwarded by mail). Payments for general taxes may be made in cash or by check.
Residents may also pre-pay their 2018 general and second half school taxes by mail. Those payments must have a U.S. Postal Service postmark, dated no later than December 31, 2017. Property owners seeking to pay by mail can secure the amounts due for their general taxes by visiting the Nassau County Department of Assessment website (Land Record Viewer) at LRV.Nassaucountyny.gov. Clicking on 2018 general taxes will provide payment amounts. The county’s website will not apply a 1 percent discount to the second half general tax amount for those who pay the full 2018 general tax amount; however, the Hempstead Town Receiver’s Office will be issuing refund checks for these amounts, which are generally nominal.
The hours of operation on Sunday, New Year’s Eve, are from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.
Clavin’s staff is prepared to answer questions about hours of operation, payment options (cash, 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).
“We’re working hard this New Year’s Eve, helping residents to ring in the New Year with property tax deductions on their 2017 income tax returns,” concluded Clavin. “So, instead of noise makers and party hats, we are doing our best to help neighbors as they toast the tax savings they will realize in the face of the new federal tax code.”