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Problems with real estate tax bills

Problems with real estate tax bills

Here’s some information to help you with common issues on real estate tax bills in Boston.

ISSUES WITH YOUR PAYMENT

If we return your check to you because you didn’t have enough money in your bank account —  or you didn’t sign your check — your account will stay in “unpaid” status.

We will charge your account $25 for any bad checks we get. If the check is more than $2,500, we will charge you 1 percent of the check amount. We will also add late fees and interest to your account. Please make sure your next check is certified or registered so it doesn’t happen again.

INCORRECT TAX DEMAND NOTICES

If you paid your tax bill but we still sent you a demand notice for tax not paid, or you paid too much in taxes, you need to provide proof of your payment. You also need to take these steps:

  • You must make a written request to Collections about your dispute. You need to provide copies of the canceled check or checks — front and back — or copies of the original receipts for your payments.
  • If your payments were for multiple properties, you need to list all the properties by ward and parcel number. If you made your payment by money order, you need to provide us a copy of your original money order — not the “non-negotiable consumer’s copy.”

Bring all your information to Boston City Hall:

  • Mezzanine Level, Window M-31
  • 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
  • Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Our research staff will look up your account to see if our records are incorrect. If you have any questions, contact Tax Collection at 617-635-4131. You can also find out information about tax payments for your property through Assessing Online. Once you find your property, click on tax payments.

LATE PAYMENTS

If you don’t make your payment within 30 days of the date the City issued the tax, the Collector-Treasurer sends a demand notice. The demand charge is $5. We also add interest to your bill from the day after it was due until you pay it off, at an annual rate of 14 percent.

If you don’t answer the demand within 14 days, the Collector-Treasurer sends a warrant notice. We add an additional $12 in warrant charges. We only send demand and warrant notices on third- and fourth-quarter bills.

If you still haven’t settled your account by June 30 of the fiscal year, we place a tax lien on your property and record it at the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds. A lien is a legal claim on your property for debt, and it’s the first step in the foreclosure process.

You need to pay all of your taxes, fees, and the interest on your account to avoid foreclosure. If you need more information, please call the Collector-Treasurer at 617-635-4131.

COPIES OF YOUR TAX BILL

You can get another copy of your real estate tax bill by filling out the Assessing contact form, or calling the Taxpayer Referral and Assistance Center at 617-635-4287. Make sure you have your ward and parcel number. The center will either mail you the copy of your tax bill, or you can pick it up at their office:

  • Mezzanine Level, Room M-5
  • 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
  • Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Even if you never received your tax bill, state law requires you to still pay any interest or fines if you’re late on your payment. It’s your responsibility to make sure you get a copy of your bill and pay your taxes.

If you want to change the mailing address, you have a couple of options. Learn how to change your tax bill mailing address. Should you have any questions or require assistance with an address change, please call us at 617-635-3783.

Still have questions? Contact:
Tax Collection
1 City Hall Square
Window M-30
Boston, MA 02201-2004
United States
For questions about your tax bill
  • To get tax information for the current fiscal year, call the Taxpayer Referral and Assistance Center at 617-635-4287.
  • For previous fiscal years, call the Collector-Treasurer’s office at 617-635-4131.
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