Refunds are always nice — even if it is just a refund of an overpayment, it still feels like new money.
Sometimes certain circumstances arise that can lead to a homeowner paying his property taxes to the county twice. Usually a double payment of taxes to the county is caused by one of the following three reasons.
This article will help you obtain a refund (unless you prefer to donate your money to the county tax fund).
- The homeowner received a tax bill from the county in July, forgot that the lender was escrowing for taxes, and sent in a check for the tax bill. This scenario is most common in first time homeowners.
- The homeowner sold the property, but the lender went ahead and paid the property tax bill before it received the loan payoff from closing. This scenario is most likely to occur if the closing of the sale took place in September or December (which is when the property taxes are due in Montgomery County for a principal residence).
- The homeowner refinanced the property and paid the property tax bill at closing, only to have the payoff lender send in a check to the county at the same time before it received the loan payoff from closing. This scenario is also most likely to occur if the closing of the refinance took place in September or December.
If you fall into one of the above three categories, you should apply to the county for a property tax refund. To obtain a refund from the Department of Finance for Montgomery County, Maryland, you must submit a written refund claim.
Montgomery County provides a “Property Tax Refund Claim Form” on its website to assist with the process.
To obtain a refund, you will also need to provide copies of documentation with the claim form. These will differ depending on which of the three scenarios above apply. You will need to submit:
- Your cancelled checks front and back if paid by check; or your credit card statement if paid by credit card; or your bank statement if paid by an electronic transaction,
- The Mortgage/Lender escrow account analysis or Form 1098 (this can be obtained by contacting the lender who paid the taxes and asking him to send you an escrow analysis form),
- The Settlement Sheet (HUD-1) if the extra payment was part of a settlement transaction.
Once the form is completed, it should be either faxed to 240-777-8947 or mailed to Treasury Refund Claim, 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15, Rockville, Maryland 20850.
My suggestion would be to make sure to keep a fax confirmation or to send the letter in a format that will offer you proof that it was received (i.e. certified mail).