If You Bought a Home in 2010

If you bought a property last year and closed by December 31st, 2010, your name should be on the tax records for 2011, even if your deed did not get recorded until January of 2011.

Here are a few reminders and tips:

1.      File the homestead exemption if this property is owner-occupied; most counties have extended their filing deadline to April 1st, but confirm with your county.  If the property also has city taxes, there may be an additional homestead exemption available.  Most of the cities require a separate homestead application (except City of Atlanta), and may have a different deadline.

2.      If the property is owner-occupied by a senior citizen, disabled person, low-income owner, injured veteran or veteran’s widow, there may be additional tax exemptions and discounts available.  Some of these applications are due much earlier and may require a copy of last year’s income tax return or other supporting documentation.

3.      If the property is rental or investment property, the new owner should confirm that the correct mailing address was provided when the deed was recorded.  You can check the GSCCCA website (look at the PT-61 form filed with the Warranty deed), the county tax website, or your HUD-1 from the closing to see if the mailing address has been shown (rather than the property address).  Tax bills sent to a vacant lot or rental house rarely get forwarded or paid on time!

4.      File a real property tax return to confirm the current market value and also to confirm the mailing address.  Your 2011 assessment should reflect last year’s purchase price (under the new Georgia law), but it never hurts to provide this information.

Leigh Clack, Partner and Managing Attorney
Jane Hedgepeth, Attorney
Neel & Robinson Attorneys at Law, LLC
22 Lenox Pointe, Atlanta, Georgia 30324
Office:  404-705-3690  Fax:  404-705-3697
lenox@neelandrobinson.com

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