Archive for the ‘tax tips’ Category

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Hammond Finds Error in Taxpayer Favor

June 16, 2010

Hammond homeowners may be due a tax refund.The Tangipahoa Parish Tax Assessor’s office has discovered an error in the Hammond taxpayers’ favor.  It appears that, beginning in 1987, Hammond homeowners were incorrectly charged for taxes within the Hammond school system when they shouldn’t have been.  It was determined to be a human error due to the fact that, at one time, the city’s boundaries and the school district’s boundaries were the same.  However, when the city was annexed over the years, homeowners were erroneously charged for the school district tax in the newly annexed areas.

Even though the taxes were wrongly collected 23 years ago, homeowners can only claim a refund on the error (if they qualify) for 2007, 2008 and 2009, since the law only allows restitution for the last 3 years.  The Assessor’s office wants to assure the public that their 2010 taxes will reflect the correct tax amount due since the error was caught in March of this year.  The total amount of taxes collected for Hammond homeowners in the Woodbridge Subdivision, along Conrad Anderson Road and near North Oaks Hospital over the last three years was more than $100,000.

If you need to file for a refund, you can contact the Tangipahoa Parish Tax Assessor’s office at 748-7181, 748-7176, 345-6226 or 229-6224.  When you file a claim, the staff at the Assessor’s office will look up the property in question, determine what should have been paid in taxes, what actually was paid in taxes and calculate the difference and then they will forward their findings and the claim along to the Louisiana Tax Commission for approval.  The Commission meets every two weeks and must approve each refund before sending it back to the parish’s sheriff’s office to issue a refund.  The Tangipahoa Parish sheriff’s office also serves as the parish tax collector.

If you are a homeowner in Hammond, you may have a refund coming your way for overpayment of school taxes over the last 3 years.  It can’t hurt to give the Assessor’s office a call to see if you may be due some money.  This is also a great reminder to check your tax bill for possible errors when you receive it.  That way a problem like this won’t continue to occur over the years and cost you more money.

Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team, Let Our Family Bring Your Family Home to Hammond Real Estate

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Demand for New Basic Homes is Up in Hammond

March 3, 2010

The demand for new basic homes is up in Hammond and Ponchatoula.  Since first time homebuyers usually are limited in their budgets, many are opting out of a custom home and looking at purchasing basic homes with basic amenities in a reasonable price range, with plans of upgrading the home at a later time.  Four home builders in Tangipahoa Parish are gearing up to meet this demand: DSLD, DR Horton, Sunrise Homes and Southern Homes.  The builders can build a home anywhere from 45-100 days within a low to upper $100,000 price range and varying in size from 1100 to 2100 square feet.  This allows first time homebuyers to get their feet wet in the Hammond real estate pool without drowning and utilizing the tax credits available until the end of April 2010.

DR Horton is currently constructing homes in Wellington Estates (off Bankston Rd), Whispering Willows (Albany), the almost sold out Cabo Cove (off Firetower Rd) and Martinsville Estates (Natalbany).  They’re also looking at purchasing more land to build in Ponchatoula.

DSLD currently has five subdivisions under construction in Tangipahoa Parish: Arlington Place (South Range Rd, Ponchatoula), Villages at Bocage (Hwy 22 East, Tangipahoa/St. Tammany Parish line), Bedico Meadows (Hwy 22 East), Madison Trace (Hwy 22 W, Ponchatoula), Blythewood Estates (Brown Rd, Ponchatoula) and The Parc (Hammond).

Southern Homes is building a 230 home development called Pine Island in the Ponchatoula community.  They have five different plans to choose from and allow homes to be customized so that they don’t all look the same.

A new company to the area, Sunrise Homes is currently building Strawberry Fields Estates in Ponchatoula.  They plan on building a total of 82 homes in their subdivision.

It’s a good indicator that the demand for new basic homes is up in Hammond and the surrounding Tangipahoa Parish area.  You need to act fast, though, if you want to take advantage of the $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit before it is gone for good on April 30, 2010.

Yvonne Martin, the Martin Team, your Hammond real estate specialists

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First-Time Buyers Rejoice-Tax Credit and Tax Deductions Await

June 3, 2009

First-time buyers in Tangipahoa Parish can rejoice with a tax credit that is better than a tax deduction.  As a matter of fact, first-time buyers will be allowed to take advantage of both a tax credit and a tax deduction.  But this will only be available this year and only for a short time.

Tax Credit and Tax Deduction:

    * A tax credit is subtracted from the amount of money you owe at tax time, resulting in a dollar-for-dollar savings.
    * A tax deduction is subtracted from your gross income.
    * A $1000 tax credit will reduce the amount of money you owe by $1000.  If you owe less than $1,000, you get the balance in the form of a refund.
    * A $1,000 tax deduction will decrease the tax owe you owe by about $10.

First-time Home Buyers Tax Credit Applies to 2009 Only:

    * First-time home buyers can take advantage of a tax credit when they buy a home this year.  But, be aware that the tax credit will end on December 1, 2009.  The escrow on a home purchase must close no later than November 30.
    * First-time home buyers are eligible for a tax credit up to $8,000 (or 10% of the purchase price).
    * First-time home buyers can tax advantage of the tax credit in two ways:

  • As a tax credit when they file their 2009 tax return.
  • As a supplemental down payment and/or help to pay closing costs.  This applies to FHA loans only.

First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Advantages:

    * Need less funds to close when financing a home through the FHA loan program.
    * Owe less money to the IRS when filing 2009 tax returns.
    * If elect to use the tax credit for a supplemental down payment or loan costs but do not need the full tax credit, the balance will be applied to your 2009 tax filing or will be refunded to you.

New Homeowners Tax Deduction:

    * All new homeowners are allowed an important tax deduction, which is often overlooked.
    * New homeowners can deduct any points paid when they purchased their home.
    * This is a one-time tax deduction and can only be applied to the year the home was purchased.
    * You must have a Form 1098 from your lender.

Homeowners Tax Deduction:

    * All homeowners can take advantage of this tax deduction.
    * There is no expiration or time limit.
    * Homeowners are allowed the benefit of deducting the interest paid (in the previous year) when filing their tax returns.
    * You must have a Form 1098 from your lender.

The real purpose of this blog is to let first-time home buyers know that there is a reason to rejoice when buying a home in 2009.  Buyers will certainly rejoice in their pride of ownership and their sense of accomplishment but they will be able to rejoice when taking advantage of the tax credit and tax deductions that await them.

Caveats:

    * The tax credit is for this year only and will soon be disappearing.
    * When filing taxes, it is always best to consult a professional tax consultant.
    * Consult with an FHA-approved lender for information on how to apply the tax credit when using FHA financing.

Yvonne Martin, the Martin Team, Let Our Family Bring Your Family Home

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Will a Tax Credit Help You?

March 11, 2009

Tax season is in full swing, which put me in mind of the Tax Credit being offered to first-time home buyers as part of the Economic Stimulus Plan.  This tax credit should not be confused with the Tax Credit of 2008.  The tax credit in the 2008 stimulus plan was for $7,500 and had to be repaid.  The new tax credit (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) was increased to $8,000 with no repayment requirement.  However, if you sell the home within three years or if the home is no longer your principal residence within the same three years, the tax credit must be repaid.

The time frame to take advantage of the tax credit by first-time home buyers is limited.  The escrow must close between January 1, 2009 and November 30 2009.  The tax credit does have income restrictions.  There is a maximum income limit of $75,000 for single households and a $150,000 income limit for married couples.  However, if your income is higher than the limit, you may still qualify for a tax credit.  For those with an adjusted income over the limit, there is a phase out plan.  For example, if your adjusted income is $160,000, you could still qualify for an approximate tax credit of $4,000 (maximum).  The tax credit is not a full $8,000 but is based on the purchase price of the home.  First-time buyers can claim 10% of the home’s purchase price as their tax credit.

The tax credit may also be applied to your 2008 tax year.  First-time home buyers have the opportunity to determine which year’s tax filing (2008 or 2009) would be more advantageous to apply the tax credit.  An amended 2008 tax return can be filed when filing your 2009 taxes.  Please consult with a professional tax advisor to determine which year the tax credit will work for you.

The tax credit applies to any type of property, including multi-family dwellings which are owner occupied.  Remember, a first-time home buyer does not necessarily mean that you have never owned a home.  A first-time home buyer is defined as anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years.  If you are considering a home purchase this year, the tax credit being offered may help your 2009 (or 2008) tax filing.

Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team

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