Frequently Asked Town Tax Questions
Below are a few of the more frequently asked questions regarding tax payments for real estate, motor vehicle or sewer taxes. Can't find your answer here? Contact the Tax Collector's Office for questions on the status of a bill. Contact the Tax Assessor's Office for assessment questions or address corrections.
What is the best way to make a payment?
There are four ways you can pay taxes:
- In person at the Tax Collector's Office
- By mailing your payment to: Tax Collector, PO Box 638, Fairfield, CT 06824
- Online at www.fairfieldct.org/taxpayment
- At any People's Bank location; you do not need to be a customer (option available only during a collection month)
You must bring or mail the appropriate tax bill stub for the period being paid. This stub is validated and kept on file to provide an audit trail should any question regarding payment arise in the future. If taxes are paid online, no payment stub is required.
When does a tax or sewer use bill become delinquent?
Per state statute, if a tax or sewer use bill is not paid within one month of the installment due date, it is considered delinquent. For example, if a bill is due on July 1, it becomes delinquent if paid or post marked after August 1. If August 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the bill may be paid on the first business day of August without penalty. Click here for information on tax delinquency.
If I mail my payment, when is the latest I can send it without being considered delinquent?
The status of all mailed payments is determined by the post mark on the envelope. If a payment is post marked within the date allowed for timely payment, it is not considered delinquent. If a payment bears a private postal meter stamp and is subsequently over-stamped by the U.S. Postal Service with a later post marked date, the U.S.P.S. post mark is considered the date mailed. If an envelope bears no post mark date, it must be received no later than the deadline date to be considered timely. All mail post marked after the deadline date is considered delinquent and interest is charged from the original due date through and including the month of the postmark. A partial month is considered a full month for interest calculations.
What happens if a payment or check is returned unpaid by my bank?
All Town offices charge a check/payment return fee of $20.00 for unpaid items. This includes payments returned by the Town’s online service, regardless of reason. This fee, in part, covers the bank charge the Town is assessed and also the additional administrative cost of reversing the payment and notifying the payee. Unless restitution is made prior to a bill being considered delinquent, statutory interest is charged, just as with any other late payment.
What if I don't receive a tax bill?
If you fail to receive your tax bill, call the Tax Collector’s Office. Failure to receive a tax bill does not exempt taxes or interest. You are responsible for obtaining your tax bill and paying the taxes on time.
What if my tax bill is incorrect?
Never ignore a tax bill. Taxes will remain due and interest will continue to accumulate until the amount due is paid or removed by the Tax Assessor.
What if I am delinquent on my Real Estate Taxes?
The tax office sends out a "Statement of Unpaid Taxes" after the second installment as a reminder. In addition, at the end of each fiscal year, real estate liens are filed against all properties on which there is either a delinquent real estate, or sewer use balance. At least fifteen days prior to the filing of these liens, a notice of intent to lien is sent to each delinquent taxpayer. If payment is not made, a lien is filed with the Town Clerk’s office. There is a $24.00 charge to release each lien, regardless of the delinquent amount due. At the time of payment, all interest, taxes and fees must be paid before the lien can be released.
What if I sell my Real Estate?
The tax levied during the year of sale is usually prorated by the settlement attorney based on the date of the sale. The original owners pay the taxes due for the portion of the year that they owned the property and the new owner pays the taxes due after the date of the sale. Be sure to notify the Tax Office of the sale so that we can send out a tax bill to the new owners for the balance of the year.
What is a Supplemental Motor Vehicle Bill?
Vehicles registered between October 2, and the following July 31, will appear on a "Supplemental Motor Vehicle List" provided to the Assessor by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The assessed value of each "supplemental" vehicle is prorated based upon the month of registration. If you traded in a vehicle on the new vehicle and transferred the license plates, all taxes must be paid on vehicle traded in (both installments). You will receive a credit on the supplemental bill based on the total taxes billed on the original vehicle and the date it was traded. Supplemental Motor Vehicle bills are sent out at the end of December and are due in one installment on January 1.
What if I dispose of a vehicle after October 1?
You may be entitled to a credit or refund, if your vehicle is sold and not replaced, destroyed, stolen or removed from Connecticut and registered in another state. Your tax bill will be prorated by the Assessor’s office based on the month in which it was disposed. A request for adjustment must be made in the Assessor’s office and written documentation regarding the disposal must be provided. Application for adjustment should be made as soon as the vehicle is disposed, since there is a statutory time limit on motor vehicle adjustments. Failure to apply on time, will result in denial of the pro-ration.
Who do I pay if I move within Connecticut?
Motor vehicle taxes are due to the municipality where your lived on October 1, so even if you moved by the time you received your tax bill the following July, you must still pay the Town where you resided on October 1. Make sure you notify the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as you move and also let the Tax Assessor’s and Tax Collector’s offices have your new address as well. All delinquent motor vehicle taxes are reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You will not be able to renew or register any vehicle in your name, until all taxes, interest and collection costs are paid in full.