The prepayment plan is an arrangement made by a taxpayer with the City to prepay, on an equal monthly instalments basis, the estimated property tax and flat rate utility levies for the following year. The City's Tax Office administers the plan.
What are the benefits of being on the Prepayment Plan?
- Easier budgeting for your property taxes and utility tax obligations.
- Your prepayment account earns monthly interest at the rate equal to the prime rate of TD Bank less 4%.
- Interest earned and applied to taxes is not considered personal income, and therefore is not subject to income tax.
- In most cases, penalties are avoided when all payments are met and the homeowner grant is claimed.
- There is no administrative cost.
How does the City determine the estimated monthly payment amount?
The monthly payment is calculated by using the following formula:
(gross current taxes + total utilities + estimated increase – eligible homeowner grant) divided by 12 = monthly payment.
This amount is recalculated annually by the Tax Office and is shown on your Property Tax Notice.
How does the Prepayment Plan work?
Once the Plan application is processed, the City will automatically deduct the estimated monthly amount from the bank account you have provided. This amount will be credited to your Prepayment Plan account with the City. Withdrawals are made on the last day of each month.
Where does my money go?
A Property Tax account and a Utility Billing account are set up for each property owner. The funds withdrawn from your bank account are credited into your Prepayment Plan account, where they earn interest on a monthly basis. They are transferred to cover utilities in February and again in July to cover property taxes due.
What happens if my utility notice still shows balance due?
In February of each year, before utility notices are printed, funds from your Prepayment Plan account as of the end of January are transferred to the Utility Billing account to cover current utilities due. If your prepayments are less than the current utilities levied, your notice will show a balance due. If Prepayment Plan is still active you MUST advise the Tax Office to transfer February and/or March installments to cover utilities due. You are responsible to submit this request to the tax office by March 31st or due date in order to avoid penalties.
What happens if my tax notice still shows balance due?
In May of each year, your tax notice will reflect all funds previously withdrawn, taking into account the May and June withdrawls as well as interest earned if any on the account. If your prepayments are in excess of taxes owing, your notice will show a credit balance indicated by a negative amount. If your prepayments are less than taxes owing, your notice will show a balance due, which will be subject to penalties if not paid by the due date.
What happens if there is no increase and I have a credit?
All credits or overpayments will be allocated to automatically reduce your future monthly payments. The new suggested monthly payment will be shown on the property tax notice. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a balance owing you MUST pay the amount by the DUE DATE to avoid penalty. To modify your prepayment, written request must be received at least five (5) business days prior to the last day of any given month, excluding May and June. (See contact information below for written requests.)
When is the best time to start?
The ideal time to start the Prepayment Plan is in July, once all your current year property taxes and water and sewer levies are paid up to date. Applications must be received by July 16th of any given year in order to commence withdrawal on July 31st of the same year.
My property taxes are paid by my mortgage company. Is it possible to participate in the prepayment plan for water and sewer alone?
Presently the only option available on the prepayment plan includes both property taxes, and water and sewer. If your mortgage company will release you from your agreement with them, you may participate in our prepayment plan.
What if I sell my home?
Credits on your property tax account remain on the account. The purchaser assumes that credit. Your legal counsel will reflect this on the Statement of Adjustments upon the sale of your home. Please cancel your prepayment plan as soon as possible if your property is being sold. Written cancellation notice must be received at least five (5) business days prior to the last day of any given month. Please be reminded that as per the Terms & Conditions, there can be NO cancellations of May and June instalments. If this property has been sold, please advise us so that we may cancel your plan, effective after the June 30th withdrawal.
How do I apply for the Prepayment Plan?
To register, complete the Prepayment Application Form (click here to download form in PDF format), attach a VOID CHEQUE and forward your application by mail, fax or in person the Tax Office. (See contact information below.)
How do I modify either the monthly prepayment amount of banking information for my prepayment plan?
To make modifications complete the modification form (click here to download in PDF format) attach a VOID CHEQUE or a blank print out, if changing banking information and forward your application by mail, fax or in person the Tax Office. (See contact information below.)
For more information on property taxes and the Prepayment Plan, contact:
Port Coquitlam Tax Office
Location and Mailing Address
First Floor, City Hall, 2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 2A8
8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)
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