Nassau County: (516) 342-4849
Suffolk County: (631) 302-1940
The Ins and Outs of Property Tax Deduction

The Ins and Outs of Property Tax Deduction

Curious How the Property Tax Deduction Works? Here’s a Guide to Help You Out.

The property tax deduction is one of many benefits of being a homeowner, although surprisingly, you don’t even need to own a home qualify for this tax break. Read on to find out more about the property tax deduction and how you can claim it on your tax return.

What’s deductible

Property tax deductions are available for property and real estate taxes you pay on your:

  • Primary home
  • Co-op apartment
  • Vacation homes
  • Land
  • Property outside the United States
  • Cars, RVs and other vehicles
  • Boat(s)

In 2018, the IRS announced a new limit on property tax deductions, allowing for of up to $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) to be deducted on a combination of property taxes and either state and local income taxes, or sales taxes.

What’s not deductible

The IRS doesn’t allow property tax deductions for:

  • Property taxes on property you don’t own
  • Property taxes you haven’t paid yet
  • Assessments for building streets, sidewalks, or water and sewer systems in your neighborhood. (Assessments or taxes for maintenance or repair of those things are deductible, though.)
  • The portion of your tax bill that’s actually for services — water or trash, for example
  • Transfer taxes on the sale of a house
  • Homeowners association assessments
  • Payments on loans that finance energy-saving home improvements. (The interest portion of your payment might be deductible as home mortgage interest, however.)
  • More than $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) for a combination of property taxes and either state and local income taxes or sales taxes.

How to take the property tax deduction

Start by finding your tax records – your local taxing authority should be able to give you a copy of the tax bill for your home. Meanwhile, scrutinize the registration paperwork on your car, RV, boat or other movable assets, as might be paying property taxes on those as well.

Exclude any taxes that the IRS won’t count. For example, you can deduct a property tax only if it’s assessed at a similar rate as other like properties in the community. The proceeds have to help the community, not pay for a special privilege or service for you.

Use Schedule A when you file your return – that’s where you’ll figure your deduction. Note: This means you’ll need to itemize your taxes instead of taking the standard deduction. It’ll probably take more time to do your taxes if you itemize, but you will likely leave you with a lower tax bill.

Deduct your property taxes in the year you pay them. Sounds simple, but it can be tricky, as there are two ways people typically pay property taxes on a house. Either you’ll write a check once or twice a year when the bill comes – simple and straightforward; or, you may set aside money each month in an escrow account when they pay the mortgage. If you’re paying your property taxes using the second method, you’ll need to stay organized, so you’re only deducting the actual tax paid that year, not all the money in escrow.

Special Circumstances

If you bought or sold your house this year: If you owned a taxable property for part of the year before selling it, you can usually deduct the taxes attributable to the time you owned the property. So, if you sold your house in July, you would deduct the first half of the year’s property taxes on the house, and the buyer would deduct the second half.

Renters: Renters might qualify for a property tax deduction on their state taxes.

How to get a bigger property tax deduction

  1. Prepay your property taxes. If your semiannual tax bill is due next April but you pay it early — say, this December — you can deduct it this year instead of next year.
  2. Save your registration statements. When it’s time to renew your registration on a vehicle, check if any part of the fee is actually property tax. There could be a tax deduction hiding in there.
  3. Scrutinize your closing paperwork. If you bought or sold a house, go back and look at what you paid at closing for property taxes. After the tax assessor has a chance to revalue the property, you might get a second tax bill.

Nassau County 2020-21 Reassessment Tax Impact Notice

Nassau County 2020-21 Reassessment Tax Impact Notice

These are confusing times to be a Nassau County taxpayer. Recently you may have received a 2020-21 “Tax Impact Letter” regarding your home’s new assessed value and corresponding tax liability.

The Tax Impact Notices are designed to illustrate how your property taxes will change once the new assessment is in place. In actuality, the notice is based on the 2017/18 tax rates making the estimate suspect at best, completely misleading at best.

I believe the notices should have have been based instead on the school and county budgets taking into account the massive tax rate increase that will be necessary to accommodate the new ratio of .10. Part of the County Executive’s plan is to bypass New York State’s longstanding law of increasing your assessment by no more than 6% per year. This will have disastrous consequences for many Nassau homeowners. My hope is that Ms. Curran will rethink think this proposal.

One thing is clear, the tax rate for many neighborhoods is going to increase substantially if Nassau moves forward with its current plan. This will be especially true without the proposed 5-year phase-in, should the NYS Legislature decide not to pass the proposed law to make the phase-in possible. In fact, this bill has yet to be even introduced to the NYS Legislature.

I strongly advise all Nassau homeowners to file a tax grievance application for the 2020-21 tax year before this year’s April 30, 2019 filing deadline. 

Bottom line, Nassau Homeowners will not know the full extent of the countywide reassessment until October 1, 2020 far after April 30, 2019, legal filing deadline has passed.

If you would like to submit an application for us to grieve your 2020-21 tax year, legal filing deadline April 30, 2019, simply click the orange “Apply Today” button below.

As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at (516) 342-4849.


Adam B Heller
President & CEO
Heller & Consultants Tax Grievance LLC


Grieve your 2020-21 property taxes now before April 30, 2019, legal Deadline


Nassau County 2020-21 Re-assessment & How It Affects You

Nassau County 2020-21 Re-assessment & How It Affects You

These are confusing times to be a Nassau County taxpayer.  Recently you may have received a 2020-21 “Assessment Disclosure Notice” regarding the county’s recent reassessment from Nassau County Department of Assessment.

The letter you received pertains to the 2020-21 tax year, these tax bills are not released until October 1, 2020 (School)/January 2, 2021 (General).  It is impossible to project the actual effect the reassessment will have on you or any homeowner in Nassau County in these early stages, we won’t really have all the pieces to the puzzle until the 2020-21 tax rates are released.  One thing is clear, the tax rate for many neighborhoods is going to increase substantially if Nassau moves forward with its current plan.  This will be especially true without the proposed 5-year phase-in, should the NYS Legislature decide not to pass the proposed law to make the phase-in possible.

We strongly advise all Nassau homeowners to file a tax grievance application.

Bottom line, Nassau Homeowner’s will not know the full extent of the countywide reassessment until October 1, 2020.

(To print this article, Click HERE.)


Save Money By Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

Save Money By Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

Many homeowners are not aware that it is possible to reduce the property taxes that they pay. Each year, they nonchalantly look or wince at the escrow notice on their mortgage and pay up without giving it a second thought. Just 2% percent of all homeowners appeal their property tax assessments (the first step when it comes to reducing taxes) in spite of the huge potential in money savings.

To make things even worse, the National Taxpayers Union reports that assessors overvalue 60% of all properties.  Generally, it is surprisingly easy to get some relief on property taxes. The local assessor in your area can help you out on this. Below are five measures you can take:

Examine the description of your property

Your assessor may have stated that your property has four bedrooms instead of three, which is the correct number. This mistake can be rectified by submitting building drawings or having them visit your home. Naturally, a reduced amount of living space translates to a decrease in the tax bill. The description of your property must be spot-on in regards to rooms, amenities and total square footage.

Are you eligible for any exemptions?

If you are living in your home and have not rented it out, you automatically get a “homestead” exemption.

Veterans, seniors and the disabled can also get exemptions. To know whether you qualify, contact your assessor or check their website.

Have you been over-assessed?

The best indicator that you need to appeal is if the assessor’s market estimate of your property exceeds what you believe you can get if you sold it. This estimate may be unclear, but you should always appeal if you feel that you are being over-assessed.

To learn how much your property might be worth, talk to your local real estate agent or visit Zillow .com. But remember that market values are usually estimated. The actual value of your home is the amount of money a buyer ready to pay for it at the close of the selling transaction.

The assessors will give you a 30-day window to appeal the assessment notice. You will be forced to wait until the following year if you do not begin the appeal process during this period.

In addition, you will be required to know the equalization factor (a number used when multiplying the assessed value of your property) of your county. Among other things, the equalization factor is an indicator of the prevailing market conditions.

Sadly, it is not possible to contest the final tax bill straight away even though you may definitely complain (failing to pay your tax bill can make you lose your house). To compute your annual property tax bill, the total equalized assessed value of your property is multiplied by the local tax rate.

Generally, you can use three properties of similar square footage and characteristics with a lower assessment to support your assessment appeal case. While you need to have like-for-like comparisons, you will probably be required to follow the tax appeal process in your county.

Your home has unique problems

Let us assume there was a natural catastrophe in your locality and a tree fell on your home or there are additional damages that you have not yet repaired. Or there was flooding in your area. You may note down these problems and make a request for a lower assessment.

You conducted a sale recently and you have an up-to-date appraisal

In case a qualified appraiser says your home is overvalued, that is normally sufficiently strong evidence. Furthermore, you can get a new appraisal even though it could cost you a few hundred dollars. But it could be worthwhile if it supports your case for a lower tax assessment.

Remember, you are not appealing your property tax bill directly. This is because it is not much you can do by the time you receive it. Tax rates are fixed by local organizations such as school districts, villages, and various other agencies. There is not a lot that you can do unless they reduce their rates or levies.

At any rate, it is always useful to appeal. It might not be possible to reduce your tax bill but it is advisable to try it. The assessment procedure is generally unclear and it is not always standardized. You should challenge it if it is unjust.

Need Help Reducing Your Property Taxes? We can Help – Suffolk Nassau

Why You Should Not Scramble To Make A Prepayment On Your 2018 Property Tax Bill written

Why You Should Not Scramble To Make A Prepayment On Your 2018 Property Tax Bill written

Before you scramble to prepay the tax bill on your property, verify that the deduction is allowed by the IRS.

The IRS Tax Property has stated that not every taxpayer can prepay his or her property tax bill.

-Before the changes take effect, taxpayers can perform year-end tax actions like prepaying the property taxes for this year.

-The IRS has prepared guidelines to assist taxpayers to establish if they are allowed to make a deduction on the prepayment of their property tax bill for 2018.

The hugely significant Republican tax bill has been passed and it was signed into law by President Donald Trump just before Christmas.

The bill could result in an increase in the tax bill for 2018 for a taxpayer who itemizes his or her deductions. However, there are a number of things that you can do right now to help you get ready for the changes, for example maximizing your tax deductions for 2017.

A lot of taxpayers are scrambling to pay one specific deduction before the year closes: their property tax bill for 2018. The current tax law allows you to deduct the taxes that you pay to the state and local government- for instance, sales, income and property taxes. However, the new tax law limits the deduction to $10,000 for sales tax, state and local income taxes or property taxes.

If you are a homeowner and your property taxes exceed $10,000 and you are not under the alternative minimum tax, you can save some money if you pay the property tax bill for next year by Sunday, when the new law becomes effective, provided that your local authority takes it.

But the IRS has explained that for the deduction to be allowed, the property taxes for 2018 that were paid in 2017 should have been included in the assessment for 2017. According to the IRS, this means that just making a prepayment for the expected property tax bill cannot be a deductible on your tax return for 2017.

The savings will be worthwhile for those people who will be allowed to claim the deduction during the filing of their taxes for 2017, particularly homeowners in states that have comparatively high taxes such as California, New Jersey, and New York.

According to the tax experts from Tax Audit, a company that provides audit defense services, if you deduct the full amount of the 2017 property tax bill, you can realize an even bigger tax benefit in case your tax rate, based on the new plan, reduces next year.

Explaining property taxes

Basically, property taxes are the taxes that you pay on the property you own.
There are two types of property taxes, depending on the mobility of the property:

1. Real estate tax-for immovable property, for example, land or houses.
2. Personal property tax-for movable property, for example, a plane or recreational vehicle (RV).

You are required to itemize your deductions in order to get a property-tax reduction

What is the procedure when paying property taxes?

The payment of property taxes is carried out at the local level. Therefore in order to make your payment early, enquire from your county government office on how to do it.

For instance, the page that provides information about property taxes on the Department of Finance, New York City government’s website describes how the taxpayer can pay by mail, electronically or personally at one of its business centers.

Remember that if you are a homeowner, your mortgage provider can pay your property taxes through an escrow account.

Sadly, prepayment of state and local income taxes (SALT) has been forbidden.

Initially, we advised that it might be prudent for certain taxpayers to make prepayments for their 2018 state and local income taxes in 2017 so they can also maximize that deduction.

However, that is not possible anymore because a reading of the tax bill that was made into law indicates that the state and income taxes that an individual pays for any tax year starting from 2018 shall not be deductible on his or her taxes for 2017. Nicole Kaeding, who works as an economist at the Tax Foundation’s Center for State Tax Policy, posted that at the same time that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tries to reduce the complexity of the tax laws, a provision at the eleventh-hour stopped a possible new tax-planning strategy from taking root even before the bill was passed.