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ASSESSOR'S REVIEW OF HOME VALUES PRODUCES PROPERTY TAX SAVINGS

Los Angeles County Assessor Robert Quon announced completion of a decline in value review of homes in Los Angeles County. All single-family residences and condominiums purchased between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2009 were included in the review. In some hard-hit areas, notably the Antelope Valley, homes purchased as far back as the 1980’s were reviewed. Quon stressed that because of the declining real estate market, it was his responsibility to continue the ongoing, pro-active commitment of the Assessor’s Office to review values to make sure homes are properly assessed. Similar reviews were done in 2009 and 2008 resulting in lower property taxes for over 330,000 homeowners.

Of the 560,000 homes reviewed this year, there are now approximately 290,000 single-family residences and 115,000 condos with reduced values as a result of the declining real estate market. The lower assessments will be reflected on the tax bills issued in October.

Quon noted that nearly all of those homeowners whose property values were reduced in previous years will either see the lower assessment continue for 2010 or, in some cases, reduced even further.

The average value reduction for single-family residences is about $162,000, he added, amounting to an average property tax savings of approximately $1,800. The average reduction for condos is $133,000, amounting to an average property tax savings of approximately $1,500.

“We have begun mailing the results to property owners included in the review and all the notices should be received by June 30, said Quon. “Owners who disagree with the results of the review or whose property was not reviewed, including property other than single-family residences or condos, may file the simple, one-page Decline-in-Value application found on our website.”

This year the application can be filed online at www.assessor.lacounty.gov. The application form can also be downloaded or requested by calling 888-807-2111. The deadline for filing a Decline-in-Value application is November 30.

“Our free review also eliminates the need for most taxpayers to go through the application process, and hopefully will curtail the scam mailers from some private companies offering to submit a review application for a substantial fee,” Quon said.

Non-Profit and Faith Based Organization Tax Compliance Resources

Many non-profit and faith based organizations that serve our communities are unaware of the state’s complex tax rules. To rectify this problem the Board of Equalization has provided online resources to help these organizations better understand and comply with tax rules. The Board’s website offers online seminars that can help these groups learn about which tax laws apply to them. Subjects covered include sales and tax laws, property tax exemptions and more.

If you still have questions after viewing the Board of Equalization website and seminars please contact Board Member Barbara Alby at (916) 445-2181 or barbara.alby@boe.ca.gov.

Are You Eligible For The Earned Income Tax Credit?

EITC

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax break for people who work but do not earn high incomes. Taxpayers who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or receive a refund.

All people eligible for EITC have SEVEN things in common:
1. Must have earned income
2. Must have a valid Social Security number
3. Cannot file as married filing separately
4. Generally cannot be a nonresident alien
5. Cannot be a qualifying child of another person
6. Cannot be filing Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ
7. Investment income amount is limited

FOUR most common EITC filing errors:
1. Claiming a child who’s not a qualifying child
2. Married taxpayers who incorrectly file as single or head of household
3. Misreporting income
4. Incorrect Social Security numbers

Call 1-800-829-1040 or visit www.irs.gov/eitc

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FREE Tax Preparation Services Saturday at the Mark Ridley-Thomas Constituent Center

free tax prep

Please call Charles Taylor at the Controller’s Office at 213-833-6010 to make an appointment

Taxpayers need to bring:

Photo ID
Social Security Number for all family members
All W-2’s and 1099’s
Copy of prior year tax return
Bank account and routing number
Other income and expense information
Total tuition fees and expenses
Total expenses paid for child day care
Day care providers identifying number