Inside EG Tax on Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst, busy is an understatement.
Reporter Ali Touhey: How have things been?
Tax Operations V.P. Christopher Fabian: Crazy!
Why? The Governor's executive order which allows anyone to prepay your 2018 property taxes.
“People are wondering who to call, where to go, what to do,” said Fabian.
And as of Wednesday, Erie County officials said the county is equipped to handle prefiling. “The governor's exec order allowed us to expedite the process but it did not change how taxes are collected,” said Erie County Executive, Mark Poloncarz.
City of Buffalo residents can pay their city and county property taxes on the first floor of the Rath Building. But, if you live outside of Buffalo, and you’re interested in prefiling, you must prepay with your respective town/city clerk, or tax collector. “If you live in the town of Amherst, you should not come downtown because we cannot accept them. Only the town of Amherst clerk can accept them,” Poloncarz said. Poloncarz pointed out school taxes aren’t included from their perspective since the county doesn’t have control over individual district tax collection.
It's still unclear whether the IRS will allow the early filings. What is clear is some are better candidates for prefiling. Experts said those who itemize deductions are the ones who may want to take it into consideration. Also, if your property tax is bundled into your monthly mortgage payment, most lenders won't prepay. So, it may not be worth the hassle.
Bottom-line, experts said you should consult your accountant with any questions. “You should really look at your tax situation. Everyone's situation is unique,” Fabian advised.
Any prefiling must be post marked by December 31st. But, experts recommend you make a trip to your municipal office and pay it in person.