Save money paying your taxes early, but make sure you read the bold print before mailing it in

An $18 typo cost one man $250 on his tax bill

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Tax payments are pouring into the Constitutional Tax Collector's office in Palm Beach County.

Each envelope is separated and scanned, but this high-speed process is often slowed.

Anne Gannon, the Constitutional Tax Collector serving Palm Beach County, points out one error, "See that's all folded up in this little envelope. Our machine can't pull it apart and scan it."

Bins full of rejected tax payments are piling up because instructions were not followed.

"It says on the tax bill in big bold letters, do not staple, do not fold, write on it, or put a paper clip on it," said Gannon. 

Most of the rejected payments can be hand processed, but some get returned to sender.

"It's ridiculous," said taxpayer Ted Campbell. 

Campbell admits he made a mistake and reversed two numbers on his check, making him $18 short on what he owed.

"The credit card company would have sent me a bill for the difference. Not the Tax Collector of Palm Beach County. They pretend like you never paid it," said Campbell. 

Campbell said he got his returned check in December, too late to cash in on the 4% November discount.

So his tax bill was $228 more, all because of an $18 typo.

"The government is out of touch with the way everybody else does business," said Campbell. 

But, Tax Collector, Anne Gannon, says her office is a government agency that's bound by state law.

"We don't take partial payments and the statue allows us to make that decision. I've made that decision because if you accept partial payment then you have to go chase the rest of it," said Gannon. 

You only have until the end of February to get an early bird discount on your taxes.

You'll save 2% if you pay in January and 1% in February.

If you want to make sure you get that discount, pay in the middle of the month rather than the end of the month just in case there's an issue with your payment.

 

 

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