June marks the commencement of a new year for government purposes. Since property taxes in Puerto Rico are managed by a government agency, June marks a new year for them as well.
When property taxes are due, payments are divided in two 6 months’ tax periods, with June marking the start of the first period and January marking the next period for a total of 12 months. Whenever you pay within the initial month of a given tax-period, you are granted a discount.
For new property owners, this is a very important piece of information.
CRIM is the agency that manages and collects property taxes in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, CRIM is not a very efficient entity. Accordingly, tax bills may come late and you may “miss” the opportunity to pay your taxes with some type of discount.
Property owners in Puerto Rico should envelope the practice of checking their property taxes regularly instead of waiting to receive an invoice on the mail. By “regularly”, I mean at least twice every year, preferably during the months of May and December of each year. Checking during May gives you the opportunity to look ahead at what you may be needing to pay in June, and likewise, checking in December will give you the opportunity to foresee your tax bill for January.
As a final note, I had a client who recently received a tax bill showing $0.00 balance owed. Following my recommendation on this, she called in to check her account and found she owed a couple of thousands of dollars “just recently” assessed. Since she took a look notwithstanding her reported $0.00 balance, she saved thousands of dollars in penalties and fees she would have otherwise had to pay if she had not checked into her account.
Very truly yours,
Santiago F. Lampón