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County Offering Refunds on Tax Prepayments

by Chris Teale January 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

With uncertainty still swirling about whether taxpayers can deduct property tax prepayments, Arlington County is offering refunds for those who have already made deposits.

County Treasurer Carla de la Pava said the county has already collected around $18.2 million in prepayments from 2,300 accounts, with it still unclear whether taxpayers can deduct those prepayments from their 2017 federal taxes.

And unlike some other jurisdictions, de la Pava said, Arlington is offering refunds on prepayments for those who have changed their minds about paying early. She said around 75 people so far have requested a refund.

“This bill was passed through Congress, and it was very quick and it caused a lot of uncertainty,” she said. “I do not want that uncertainty to penalize Arlington citizens.”

Under the new GOP tax bill, State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions are capped at $10,000. For many Arlington taxpayers with pricey homes, this means they will lose part of their deduction next year and thus potentially pay higher federal taxes.

The Treasurer’s Office issued an advisory on how to request a refund on December 28, the morning after a ruling by the IRS limiting deductions to property taxes assessed in 2017.

Arlington is unable to assess 2018 property taxes until the County Board sets the tax rate in April, and de la Pava said with so many things still up in the air, it was better to give taxpayers options.

“It’s interesting, because what I’ve heard from many people is that they are certainly not going to request a refund right away because I think there’s a sense in the community that… things might change,” she said. “I even had one customer suggest that there might be something brewing in Congress that would make that IRS advisory stale information. There’s a lot of uncertainty still.”

The full advisory issued by the Treasurer’s Office is after the jump.

If you prepaid property taxes and now want to request a refund, please note the following:

  • The refund request must be in writing.
  • The refund will be initiated no sooner than 14 days after payment.
  • A refund could take up to six weeks to process.

Please send emails to [email protected] with “Refund Request” in the subject line. Letters should be mailed to Arlington County Treasurer’s Office, Attn: Refund Request, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 201, Arlington, VA 22201. The following information should be included if possible.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number (critical)
  • Email address
  • Type of tax (real estate or vehicle) you prepaid
  • Account number(s) or property address
  • Amount(s) you paid
  • Date you made prepayment(s)
  • How you paid (in person, online, or by mail)

Please note: the Arlington County Treasurer’s Office does not advise on the deductibility of tax prepayments for federal or state taxes.

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