Q: If I postmark my payment by the due date will the tax office consider it on time?
No. A payment must be RECEIVED by the due date. The only exception made to this law is when an envelope has multiple postmarks dating 5 or more days prior to the due date, clearly demonstrating an extraordinary delay by the Post Office, but good-faith effort to pay the bill on time by the taxpayer.
Q: Can I send my check in advance of the due date, but date it for deposit on the due date, so I can be sure it is on time?
No. Checks must be good for payment when they are received or they are returned. Holding checks in the office for extended periods of time is not an acceptable practice. This office usually processes and banks all payments daily.
Q : How expensive can it be if I am late paying my real estate tax?
It can be very expensive. By law, the annual rate of interest charged is 14%, and is calculated from the date of issue. That means that if you miss the due date you have missed a whole month plus the number of days beyond the due date. On the average Sherborn tax bill the penalty is about $2 per day.
Q: Do you redeposit checks when they are not honored by the bank?
No. Most banks no longer allow us to check for the availability of funds before redepositing a check. Therefore there would be a risk of additional penalties and further delays in receiving funds, if a returned check was redeposited. The procedure now is to reverse the record of payment, which triggers the interest and penalties on the account as if it had not been paid at all. A penalty is applied for the bad check and the taxpayer is notified of the new balance due. At that time, it is requested that cash, money order or a bank check be submitted for payment.
Q: When I am paying more than one bill can I write one check?
Yes, but please double check the math before you send in the check. You may even combine excise and real estate tax payments. For excise at warrant and real estate in tax title, payment for those would require separate checks. The tax title is collected by the Treasurer and the excise at warrant is collected by the deputy. All checks should be made out to the "Town of Sherborn".
Q: Can I use a credit card to pay my taxes or pay my bill online?
Excise tax bills that are at warrant can be paid online with a credit card to the Deputy Collector Kelly & Ryan. We do not offer that service for other tax payments because of timing and cost issues. When the benefit to the taxpayer and the Town outweighs the cost in fees and elay of funds, those services will be considered. We do have a new online payment service for the Real Estate and Excise tax bill payments, that allows an online payment directly from your checking account to the Tax Collector. It does not allow credit or debit cards and is only for ON TIME payments.
Q: Your hours don't match mine, how can I make payments or discuss my tax issues in person?
We are happy to make appointments to accommodate a taxpayer's schedule, whenever possible. A payment can be left when the building is open but the office is closed, by using the locked box on the tax office door. If you need to leave a payment when the building is closed, there is a locked metal box outside the main entrance. It would be best if that box was not used over weekends. Please do not leave cash in either box.