UVI Tax Peopole DO IT AGAIN, Need Legal Advice
Once again for the third time since I have owned in the VI the government has done it again. They have advised me that I didi not pay my real estate back in 1996. Yes, 1996. IN each of the previous times I had the stamped tax bill. Some friends also recieved the same letter saying they owed the taxes. They found the information and will shove it up their ass on Monday. I hope I can find the same records so I have the please of doing it also.,
But there needs to be a point where this needs to stop. This is a clear effort on their part to get additional money that they collected once.
Is there no statue of limitation here? And to charge us with interest. We have paid our taxes each year and now, over 10 years later they FIND this out. This is bull.
Any thoughts on this?
do you have a mortgage on these properties, the mortgage i carry on my house pays my taxes and insurance and then i get a rebate check back from gmac once a year for anything that was overpaid
and i guess why would anyone be surprised by this we do live in a 3rd world banana republic after all,lol all thats missing at this point is a civil war
Bill, I empathize, but if you can settle down a bit before Monday, it will work to your advantage. You probably know that and are just venting here. Have you considered having an escrow account with your attorney? Then there is always a record with your attorney, giving you a little extra sense of security. I don't think property tax has a statute of limitation.
It's not only the property tax office, but this is quite common. It's the reason our attorney says, and the man I worked for, NEVER throw away an official receipt from the gov't of the VI. If you can't prove you paid it, you have to pay it again. I had an issue with the Office of Corporations a couple years ago, and they wanted us to prove we'd filed the annual report for 1989. We had the copy--but never got an apology.
Same issue with the property tax folks, when we went to sell a property---they said the taxes were not paid in 1989 or thereabouts--and it happened it was a property we had had a mortgage on at the time, with a tax escrow. It got more interesting, because in the interim the bank had been sold, and the new bank had picked up the mortgage. It took months, but the "new" bank eventually had to pay the taxes again, because we could not get a tax clearance letter till they did. I was able to work it out with the banker who was in charge, luckily, without having to get any lawyers involved, but it was a minor mess. It has happened to lots of folks, with the 1996 property tax bills, and some folks I have spoken to attribute it to the issues post-hurricane Marilyn, as to why that year's records in the government seem to be such an issue.
We've also had the property tax dept issue a tax clearance letter saying all was fine, and then a year or two later, when another tax clearance letter was requested, say there was a missing payment from a period that was covered by the PRIOR tax clearance letter. This is one reason why the tax clearance letters no longer have the list of when each of the payments was made---now they just attest without any specifics so you can't go back and point to the date they previously said the tax had been received
Thanks for the info. I guess it helps to have some people who care.
I never had a mortgage on the property and paid all the bills by check or by credit card more reciently. And I have almost all of the bills. But I think they may have went out the door as the requirement for the federal side of the house is 7 years unless there is a question of tax avoidance or fraud. So I am now checking back over the last 10 years to find one statement. I know I paid it, it is just now, after 10 years they come out of the wood work. And yes I beleive that it has to do with the hurricane damage.
So i'll keep looking. And I am pissed off. This is truly a thrid world country when it comes to accounting.
Again, thanks for the shoulders!!!
This may be a bigger and different problem than one letter. it seems that lots of folks are getting/have received these letters, and some have received multiple letters for the same year, and folks have received letters for taxes missing from years before they owned the property. Sounds like (I hope) a computer went crazy somewhere...I'm going to be watching my mailbox.....
This is not abnormal for the vibir or any of the govt branches. Working as an accountant here they always sending out bills fishing for money and you have to go down there and wait to talk to someone to show them proof that you paid 2006 3rd quarter withholding, etc...If you haven't been introduced before, met the usvi govt, its lazy, massive, bureaucratic and needs money. All I can say is keep records of every bill you pay them and make sure you get everything stamp or somehow its not real here.
They haven't stamped and returned any portion for me before, how could I get proof when I live 4000 miles away and mail in a money order? I don't know if they would take the carbon of the money order as proof? I guess its a case of hoping a problem won't happen? Is there any way to see or find out what payments they have on record? The property tax database on line is sort of a joke in this regard
Pay with a check rather than a money order. That way, you or your bank will have the canceled check on file and can provide proof that you paid.
A bigger concern is that most VI lenders require property taxes to be escrowed. Since the lender pays the taxes from the escrow account, the home owner doesn't have copies of the canceled checks. Lenders don't understand local governmental inefficiencies and tend to view requests for evidence that the taxes have been paid as nuisance requests, which they relegate to the trash can.
--UVI -- University of the Virgin Islands
when you pay by mail you have to send them a SASE along with the payment and specifically request that they send you the stamped receipt.
You can't depend on your bank's records because it could be 15 years ago that the payment was made--the VI government will go back to at least 1989 --that's what's covered in the tax clearance letter. Even banks don't usually keep the records on file that long.
"You can't depend on your bank's records because it could be 15 years ago that the payment was made--the VI government will go back to at least 1989 --that's what's covered in the tax clearance letter. Even banks don't usually keep the records on file that long."
When you pay by check your bank statement includes either a copy of the canceled check or the original, which you can keep as evidence that you have paid the USVI government. If you need copies of old checks banks can provide copies of those checks. The cost for this service can be expensive, depending on the value of your business to your bank, but banks do retain copies of your banking history and they can easily research checks written during the past couple of decades.
When we purchased our property the person selling the property to us could not fully document there property tax payments. In order to get the tax clearance letter and close the sale they had to repay eight years of taxes.
This isn't an isolated problem you must be able to fully document your payments.
That is why so many people pay their income taxes here in person. You need to get a stamped copy for your files. I was also required to produce a stamped copy of my 2006 return in order to get my homestead exemption. An ordinary photo copy wouldn't do.