Friday, May 28, 2010

Mortgage Recording Tax Savings

Did you know that any taxpayer who has paid mortgage recording tax is entitled to a one quarter of a point refund of the amount paid? On a $5 million loan, this would be a $12,500 refund. Definitely not chump change. The proper way to obtain the refund is by claiming a credit on your tax return (I assume it is claimed on the New York state tax return) that is filed for that year. If this is something that you failed to do for any mortgages you refinanced or obtained over the past several years, you are not completely out of luck. There's a three-year statute of limitations on obtaining a refund. However, for any past tax years you would then need to file an amended return. Depending upon the amounts involved, this is something you may consider taking advantage of.

Graffiti Removal Program:

A new law recently went into effect (Local Law 65-2009) that fast tracks removing graffiti on buildings in New York City, and makes it easier for business owners and residents to get it removed at no cost.

How the graffiti-free process works: the new law went into effect on April 7, 2010, and the Administration has been focused on smoothing out technical issues that might arise as the 35-day notices are sent in to city government. The highlights of the law are:
  • If you’re the owner or authorized representative of a property, you can request free removal of graffiti on your building by filling out a Forever Graffiti Free form here. (Forms are also written in Spanish and Chinese).
  • If you see graffiti on someone else’s property, call 311 to report it.
  • If graffiti is observed on your building and you do not already have a Forever Graffiti Free form or waiver in the City’s system, you’ll receive a “Notice of Intent to Clean” from the Department of Sanitation.
This notice will explain that you have three options:
  • You can inform the City that you want to clean the graffiti yourself. Call 311.
  • You can inform the City that you consent to the markings identified as graffiti on your building, for whatever reason. Call 311.
  • If you don’t take either of those two steps, the City will route your property for cleaning after 35 days.
A few things to note:
  • The City of New York will send the “Notice of Intent to Clean” to all addresses on file for the property, checking all City databases (DOF, HPD).
  • Property owners or representatives can request a 15-day extension, if they need more time to make up their minds.
  • If you already have a waiver or Forever Graffiti Free form on file, you don’t need to fill another one out as long as you own the property.
Here are more detailed FAQs.

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