Brooklyn, NY – Councilman David G. Greenfield is reminding local non-profits to renew their tax exempt status with the NYC Department of Finance (DOF) to avoid being issued property tax bills in 2016. The deadline for non-profits to file for exemption for the upcoming tax year is Tuesday, January 5th, 2016. Several years ago, the DOF changed its policy on the non-profit tax exemption and now all non-profits receiving a full or partial property tax exemption are required to fill out a renewal form each and every year to maintain exempt status. This change in policy has caused much confusion for local community institutions that previously enjoyed uninterrupted tax-exempt status for years after initially filing as a non-profit with the City of New York. Since this new policy was implemented, Greenfield’s office has been instrumental in helping countless non-profits navigate the renewal process.
“I am calling on every non-profit group in my district to file for tax-exempt status for the next fiscal year as soon as possible. There are nearly 200 groups in my district alone that have not filed yet with the deadline less than one week away. Timely renewal is essential to avoid unwanted tax bills and potential lien sales,” said Councilman Greenfield. “If an organization misses the deadline, it is a difficult and time consuming process to try and convince the city that the group is eligible. In some cases, non-profits can stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars. Please call my office at (718) 853 2704 if your organization has any questions about this process.”
Filing for renewed tax-exempt status is easy and applications may be submitted online. All non-profits should have received letters and emails from the DOF with details on how to renew. If any organization has not received such a letter, it is likely that the DOF does not have the organization’s correct contact information on file. Any group that has not received notice is encouraged to immediately contact the DOF by either calling 311 or emailing their non-profit unit at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
If a non-profit fails to renew its tax exempt status, it will be issued property tax bills starting in July 2016. If the non-profit fails to correctly challenge and respond to these bills the DOF may place a lien on the property for unpaid taxes. Removing a tax lien against a non-profit is nearly impossible so it is incredibly important that all non-profits carefully maintain their tax-exempt status each year and avoid what could potentially become an extremely costly problem.
The DOF details how non-profits can apply for tax-exempt status online. The website is: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/benefits-not-for-profit-organizations.page. The DOF also sends notice through mail and email to all non-responsive organizations with more details prior to the deadline.
Any organization with questions about this process is urged to contact the Office of Councilman Greenfield immediately for details on how to renew their tax-exempt status. Greenfield’s staff is experienced in these issues and ready to help. Councilman Greenfield’s office can be reached at (718) 853 2704.