The Taxman Cometh

Time to think taxes! Our handy guide’s got links that could save you, or someone you love, some hassle and expense. 

With rising property values comes rising taxes. Fortunately, Philadelphia’s Dept of Revenue offers many programs that help Fallsers pay their real estate taxes and water bills…

  1. Earned Income Tax Credit — A refundable credit available to anyone 25 – 65 years old with an income of $14,600 – $53,000 (or a qualifying child). Over 40,000 eligible Philadelphians failed to apply for this *free money* last year, btw.  Find out if you quality at YouEarnedItPhilly.com, which also includes links to free tax prep available to help figure everything out.
  1. Senior Tax Freeze — Homeowners over 65 eligible can stop their real estate taxes from rising as long as they remain in their home. (Download application form here)
  1. Property Tax Installment Plan: Pay taxes over 12 months with no interest or penalties. (Download application form here)
  1. Payment Agreements & Installments for Back Taxes: The city recognizes that homeowners can quickly feel overwhelmed by fines & interest incurred from falling behind on real estate taxes — especially with inherited properties, which may be in the red for years before switching hands.To help alleviate undue burden, the Dept of Revenue offers various assistance programs for different income levels. For as little as $25 a month, stressed homeowners can remain compliant on their taxes while working towards a balance.
  2. Homestead Exemption:  Can reduce tax assessment up to $30K for your primary residence — not just seniors, anyone with their mortgage paid up is elligible. Apply at phila.gov or quickly & easily over the phone 215-686-9200.
  3. LOOP: “Longtime Owner Occupants Program” allows qualified homeowners of ten years or more to “freeze” their taxes for 10 years or more.
  4. Water Revenue Assistance Program (WRAP) — assistance for water/sewer bills for Philadelphians with low incomes
  5. Senior Discount: Philadelphians 65 and older eligible for 25% discounted rate for water/sewer bill (some income requirements)

Finally, winter is prime season for water leaks — DID YOU KNOW?  It’s easy to tell if you have a water leak! If you get an unexpectedly big bill one month (or if you otherwise suspect your pipes are compromised), first check to make sure no outside hoses or faucets are running. Don’t use any water for 30 minutes, and check your meter. If the dial is spinning, water is moving — you’ve got a leak.

Philly’s Dept of Revenue keeps extended hours from early February thru April 18th:  8:30 am – 7:00 pm Mon – Thurs, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Friday, and 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Saturday.

Real Estate:  215-686-6442
Taxes:     215-686-6600
Water:    215-686-6880

 

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