Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How to Prep Your Home for Spring


Spring is in the air! As the weather gets warmer, we’ll tend to spend more time out of our homes enjoying all the season as to offer. Get a head start on these projects to freshen your home.

Do Some Spring Cleaning

Though this may sound like a cliche, spring really is the best time to get to cleaning. With warm weather coming, you’ll want to get outside more often, leaving much of the housework you’ll want to do is thrown to the side. Consider these areas:


  • Declutter bedrooms, closets, cabinets  and living spaces.
  • Clean windows and put new window treatments up.
  • Give your floors a good clean and wax.
  • Vacuum and dust any surfaces that may be carriers for indoor allergens.
  • Switch beddings to lighter covers for warmer weather.

Inspect Your Roof

From fallen trees to mounds of snow, your roof can sustain a large amount of damage during the winter months. When the weather warms up, it’s best to inspect your roof and change for any signs of damage early so that a professional can make necessary repairs. Broken shingles or leaks can cause hefty property damage.

Repair Windows and Screens

Just like your roof, your windows and screens can take a beating through the cold winter months. To ensure you’re not wasting money cooling your home by letting that air go right out a broken window this spring, and to prevent allergens from coming inside, you’ll want to repair any damage.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

The Veterans' Property Tax Exemption: Explained

What Is The NYS Veteran’s Exemption?

If you are a veteran in New York State, there are property tax exemptions that those who have served in the U. S. Armed Forces, including veterans who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard can apply for.

All veterans must submit a request for the exemption to their assessor, including proof of discharge under honorable conditions. This information typically includes times and places served in active duty. These exemptions only apply the following tax levels:

  • County property taxes
  • City/town property taxes
  • Village property taxes


There are three main exemptions that veterans can apply for in New York State:
Cold War Veterans’ Exemption: available at the residential level for veterans that served during the Cold War. It is up to the description of counties, cities, and villages to offer this exemption.

Alternative Veterans’ Exemption: available at the residential level for veterans serving during a designated time of war, or those who have received an expeditionary medal. 95% of counties, towns, cities and villages offer this exemption, and some school districts have the choice of offering it as well.

Eligible Funds Exemption: awards a partial exemption to property a veteran purchases. Contact your local clerk for more information.

For more information, visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Proven Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value


Whether you’re ready to move to a new neighborhood or just want to get a head start on maximizing your investment, increasing the value of your home is always a good thing. Use these recommendations to update your home:

Make Your Home Low-Maintenance

Except for the few buyers that are really looking for a project, most prospective homeowners are looking for a home that is as close to ‘turnkey’ as possible — meaning the home is practically ready for them to move in.

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, be sure that any structural updates that need to happen before an inspection get completed. Give your home a good look, make a list of what needs to get done, and get to work!

Make Your Home Efficient

Who doesn’t love a way to help the environment and lower their utility bills? Going-green has been a trending housing update for the past few years, and will surely increase the value of your home. Here are a few updates you can consider making:

  • LED lighting
  • Solar panels
  • Energy-efficient HVAC units
  • Smart thermostats

Make Your Home More Attractive

Increasing the appeal of your home doesn’t stop at the inside — it extends to the outside of your home, too. This means that you should be focused on updating the interior of your home as well as the exterior, which will help you increase your “curb appeal”. This is often the first impression a prospective buyer will have of your home, and you’ll want to make it count.

Here are some updates you may want to consider making:

  • Updating landscaping, roofing, and siding
  • Freshening interior paint
  • Remodeling your kitchen and bathrooms with new appliances

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

4 Things to Do Before Tax Day



April 15th, also known as Tax Day here in the U.S., is the deadline for all individual tax return submissions and tax filing extension requests. If you’re looking to get ahead of the game this year, here are a few key things to take care of before Tax Day:

1. Gather Income Documentation

There are few more stressful things than looking for paperwork at 11:59 pm the night before Tax Day. To prepare, make sure you have all the necessary documents ready to go — whether for sending to a professional or for your own use. This also includes any paperwork needed for deductions, such as student loan interest payments.

Also, be sure to keep this information handy in case you need it later in the year.

2. Look Over Last Year’s Return

If you’re filing your tax return online, you’ll need information from last year’s return statement to file this year — part of the IRS’ anti-fraud protocols. Also, looking at last year’s return can help you remember exactly what incomes you need to claim, and what deductions you’re entitled to.

3. Check Your Personal Information

One sure way to raise a red flag to the IRS is mistyping your name, Social Security number, or bank account information. Make sure all of this information is double-checked before you finalize your tax return.

4. Consider Filing an Extension

If you need more time for filing your taxes, you can apply for a six-month extension by filing IRS Form 4868. If you think you’ll need an extension, it’s best to file as soon as possible. However, if you still owe tax liabilities to the IRS, you will not receive an extension for this payment, and must make those on time to avoid any interest.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Thursday, February 6, 2020

How to Apply for Property Tax Grievance in Nassau County

To help combat soaring taxes in Nassau County, residents have the right to grieve their taxes. Through this process, those individuals choose to appeal their assessment by providing necessary information about their property. P.T.R.C., Inc. specializes in long island residential property tax reductions. Since 1990, P.T.R.C., Inc. has successfully handled over 285,000 assessment challenges. We have secured millions of dollars in reductions and refunds for our clients. We aim to be the best in the business!

The Process

ARC asks filers to complete a form that has various parts. Some of the questions are optional, but the more residents fill out the more they can highlight their argument that their assessment is inaccurate.

Individuals must first fill out Part A of the application sheet to identify the property. Verify that all information is correct.
In Part B, residents need to fill out what they feel their assessment should be. This section must be completed.
The individual's address and contact information are included in Part C. This should be checked for accuracy, for ARC uses it to contact the resident.
Part D enables the filer to include any pertinent information about the property that would affect the value. Suitable answers include, but are not limited to, home is located on a main road, adjacent to a train station or near a school.
An optional section, Part E enables the filer to accurately specify the claim for the reduction.
Another optional section, Part F invites residents to upload comparable homes in the area. These are used to support the claim that a new assessment is necessary.
The last section must be filled out or the form cannot be filed. It simply asks the resident to sign and certify that all statements made are accurate.

Deadline

The online appeal system is open until April 2, 2020. During this time, any type of property can be filed for including commercial ones.

Considerations

Property Tax Reduction Consultants help residents complete their assessments and will file on their behalf. If this is the case, Part C of the form would indicate that there is a designation of representation.

Residents can simply visit Property Tax Reduction Consultants and fill out the online application to get the process started.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Top Things to Do in Winter on Long Island


Wintertime on Long Island is a perfect time to spend time with the family! While the weather may be chilly, that doesn’t mean you have to stay put in your home.

Here are our favorite winter activities on Long Island:

Go Skating. 
A local favorite is Christopher Morley Park. They have voted this two hundred foot rink the best outdoor rink on Long Island.
Take a Hike.

 From a short walk to an invigorating journey, winter is the perfect time to take a hike with the family. Try Caleb Smith State Park for a nice walk, or the Quoge Wildlife Refuge for hiking, nature workshops, and more.

Head to a Museum.
 For a warm, indoor family outing, try the Cradle of Aviation Museum or the Long Island Children’s Museum.

Take a Seal Cruise.
 Long Island’s waterways are full of marine life, and what better way to view them than Captain Lou’s Seal Watching tour?

Visit the Aquarium.
 If you’re not looking to set sails but still want a maritime adventure, head to the Long Island Aquarium!

Go Bowling.
Winter weather means it can be harder to get outside and play your favorite sport. However, you can still keep up some family-friendly competition with a few games of bowling!

See a Movie.
Whether it’s a date-night or a family outing. Consider indulging in a dine-in movie experience to see one of the newest box-office hits.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Best Neighborhoods for Families on Long Island


Even in the worst-case scenario, a home buyer in the Long Island area won't see their house depreciate in value. This means that now is a good time to purchase property in the Long Island area, because your property will either go up in value, bringing you a profit in a few years or stay the same and not lose you any money. However, some towns are better fit for a young, growing family.

Neighbors for Young Families

We suggest that you choose a community with prices that are stable. This will ensure that your property will hold its value if you decide to sell your home down the line. Between 2 counties, 13 townships, 205 villages, and hamlets, and over 2 million people — so where should you buy your home? Consider one of these options:

Plainview, Nassau County

Ranked the top city on Long Island, Plainview is a quaint suburban hamlet with easy access to major highways and train stations. Plainview’s schools are excellent, and the area holds many large shopping centers and parks.

East Meadow, Nassau County

East Meadow is an unincorporated hamlet which holds some of Long Island’s largest parks and top school district — which was ranked second in the entire state of New York. It is also known for its great growth potential.

Commack, Suffolk County

While Commack was first settled for its rich soil and farmland, it’s now known for its quick access to highways, making commutes a breeze, and its family-oriented atmosphere.

North Bellmore, Nassau County

North Bellmore is ranked among the topmost family-friendly neighborhoods in the entire state of New York. This city is also a quick ride from state beaches.

West Islip, Suffolk County

This south shore town is an extremely family-friendly, and offers a fantastic school system. There are also plenty of activities, such as clubs and cultural enrichment organizations.

Merrick, Nassau County

Located on the south shore of Long Island, Merrick is one of the top maritime cities for young families. This town has an abundant amount of community parks and activities, with Jones Beach just a short 10-15 minute drive away. Merrick’s school districts also rank some of the best on the island.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Ways to Show Your Home Some Love


With Valentine’s Day coming up, you will want to focus on love. Most importantly, you may want to send your loved ones a sweet card or pick up a box of their favorite chocolates. As you may be looking for ways to show love for your loved ones, you may also want to show the things you appreciate the most some TLC — like your home.

Here are some ways you can show your home some love this Valentine’s Day:

  • Fill it with flowers. Everyone loves getting flowers on Valentine’s Day — even your home! The atmosphere in your home will be fresher and you’ll get to enjoy the look of fresh flowers in your living space, too. 
  • Buy some new decor. Not only will your home feel new and bright, but you will also enjoy the luxurious feel that it brings to a room you felt needed some work
  • Get a head start on home projects. Whether it is a broken table leg or a hole in the wall, taking out the extra time to show your home some love and fix it will be the perfect way to show your house some appreciation this Valentine's Day. 


Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

What to Expect at a Property Tax Hearing

Fighting Your Property Taxes

If you are attending a property tax hearing, there are some things that you should be prepared for beforehand to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Read on to learn more.

If you do not agree with the amount of taxes that you are said to owe for the 2020/2021 tax year, you need to file an appeal and get a confirmation from our experts at P.T.R.C., Inc. stating that you are eligible to appeal this process. We must get this information by the deadline or it will not count.

Filing time is once a year, don’t miss the deadlines! Applications must be received in our office by 2pm:

Nassau                 2021/22                 March 2nd, 2020 

Suffolk                 2020/21                 May 19th,  2020   

Preparing for a Property Tax Grievance Hearing

Before going to this hearing, you need to review the appraisers’ information on the home by reviewing the condition, utility, and desirability. If it is sound that the appraisal was not accurate, then it will often be corrected if this information can be validated.

The condition of the home will have a direct impact on the property tax. If there is rotten wood, paint peeling, problems with the foundation, or leaks in the roof a person needs to obtain an estimate for the repairs. They may be able to get their tax reduced based on this information.

Before entering the hearing all of the documents should be in place and any relevant information about the home should be documented and brought to the heating. A person should have their original appraisal and the revised version they feel is correct. Three new analyses of the home will need to be performed and have similar results for the organization to reduce the amount of taxes on the home. All of this information must be presented to them in writing.

As a homeowner, you are entitled to file a property tax grievance. If you are interested in learning more about the process or are interested in starting your tax reduction, contact our experts at P.T.R.C. today. Nassau: (516) 484-0654, Suffolk: (631) 484-0654

Thursday, January 23, 2020

What You Need to Know About STAR Changes

New York State has recently made quite a few changes to the School Tax Assessment Relief program. These changes may affect those who have recently purchased homes and have successfully paid taxes for the 2019-20 school year. If you fall into this category, you are not currently registered to receive STAR exemption or credits. Read on to learn more. 

Changes to Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR

If you have registered for Basic STAR, you will automatically be upgraded to Enhanced STAR following verification by the State of New York. You will need to verify:
  • Your identity
  • Your age
  • Your income


This eliminates the need to manually apply through the Nassau County Department of Assesment.

Persons who have not filed tax returns and are currently registered in the STAR program, the state of New York will send an income worksheet to be completed to assess and substantiate your household income to be eligible for Basic or Enhanced STAR.

While those homeowners that currently receive the Basic STAR exemption, that is interested in maintaining their credit status, must still apply for Enhanced STAR if they believe they qualify for the program.

Homeowners with an annual income between $250,000 and $500,000 will receive have the ability to stay exempt on property bills and they will receive a check from the State of New York. While there are no specific deadlines for registering with the STAR program, you should treat every update as a time-sensitive matter. Please check the website to see when you should be expecting your check if you qualify.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tax Strategies for the New Year

While you may not have the total amount your household will spend on taxes, you can prepare for them throughout the entire year. There are strategies that can save thousands of dollars and your time by preparing for your taxes year-round. These tips can work for both state and federal taxes.

Records Organization

Gather your previous year’s tax return, 1099s and W-2s for the current year, receipts, and anything else you need for tax time. This will save you the time of locating all of these documents. Using a checklist will help you to keep track of the items that you need to prepare your taxes. Take the time to find the correct forms to file your taxes.

Retirement Accounts

Fund your retirement account ahead of the tax filing deadline for traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

Estimated Tax Payment

Making an estimated payment by the 15th of January can help you to eliminate penalties from the fourth quarter. You will owe a penalty for other quarters if you have not sent estimated payments for them at the time.

Itemize Deductions

The standard deduction is easier to take but it is possible to save more money by itemizing your expenses if you own your home, have a high tax rate, or are self-employed. Charitable donations and mortgage interest are well-known deductions. Portions of medical expenses over 10 percent of adjusted gross income can also be deducted.

Home Office Deduction

Make sure to examine the home office deduction closely. The rules for eligibility have changed, so be sure to run through the necessary qualifications closely.

File on Time and Electronically

It is imperative that you file your taxes and pay any taxes owed on time in order to prevent penalization. Filing electronically can save you on processing time as well as getting any refunds issued up to a month earlier.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Home Renovation Trends for 2020

Home renovation is very cyclical and reactive, just like many other aspects of life. The home improvement projects that are in effect in 2020 will not be the same ones that are present from five years ago. Here are some of the biggest home improvement trends for 2020.

More Money for Projects

Our economy has been on a tear for several years and the economy is reaching full employment which is translating into larger home improvement projects. Further, loans with low-interest rates are more accessible than ever before and this is resulting in large scale projects, particularly in suburbs such as kitchen renovations, floor additions, and redone outdoor spaces.

Smart Homes

The internet is beginning to realize its smart home potential and more homes are being renovated with smart devices in mind. Smart devices are entering into our kitchens and appliances with smartphone-controlled timers, our heating and cooling systems with remote smart devices that let you optimize your heating and cooling, and smart security systems that allow for access away from home. More than minor tools, these smart home devices are being fully integrated and allow for remote and voice accessed tools that make the future fully accessible today.

Clean Air and Focus On the Environment

Home improvement looks to improve on the spaces in your home with advanced air and water purification kits, green recycling options, and integrated home efficiencies. Homeowners are increasingly concerned with these items and are great selling points for those who are looking to live cleaner.