Often the County Treasurer’s office is in the position of having to accept delinquent tax payments prior to completing the settlement process with their local units. This situation is easily managed in Pontem’s Delinquent Tax as the software has been designed to allow users to easily add delinquent tax bills for immediate payment.
HANDLING PRE-SETTLEMENT PAYMENTS
STEP ONE: Searching for Unpaid Bills
In the Primary Task labeled ‘Prepare Delinquent Roll‘ (PDR) use the ‘Quick Search’ tool to indicate the ‘Parcel Number’ and the appropriate ‘Tax Period.’ Click Search. This will result in a list of tax bills which are unpaid in the filtered year and will be added to the delinquent tax bill roll.
STEP TWO: Update Delinquent Tax Bills
Select ‘Pay As DT’ to activate the ‘Update Delinquent Tax Bills’ function.
When satisfied the bill is correct, click ‘Finish’.
STEP THREE: Pay Delinquent Tax Bills
The software will set the focus on ‘Manage Delinquent Bills.’ Select ‘Pay DQ Bill’ to complete the payment process. If there are multiple years of delinquent bills for the parcel number that was entered into the ‘Quick Search’ filter, you have the option to select the appropriate bill for payment.
STEP FOUR: Post Payment to Delinquent Tax Bill
After verifying the ‘Payment Date’ and ‘Accounting Date’ click ‘Prepare Receipts’ to finish posting the payment.
STEP FIVE: Handling Delinquent Payments for a Specific Tax Period
Often, a taxpayer will wish to pay the delinquent tax for a specific tax period. To accomplish this task, click the ‘Set Base Pay ‘button and select the specific tax period/s to be paid as part of this delinquent payment. The ‘Total Base Tax Pay’ amount will be adjusted and ‘Admin Due,’ ‘Interest Due’ and ‘Total Bill Pay’ will be recalculated based on this value.
STEP SIX: Generating and Issuing a Delinquent Tax Receipt
On the ‘Tax Receipt’ screen add a check number if appropriate and any total in ‘Total Cash’ will automatically move to the ‘Check(s) Amount.’ The focus is on the ‘Total Cash’ field in case the payment needs to be split between check and cash (check and cash amounts must total to the value in Amount Received).
In the screen shot below, notice the button to the left of the ‘Check Numbers’ field with the double arrows pointing to the right. Use of this button at the next ‘Tax Receipt Distribution’ screen will bring forward the check number, payer’s name and address, and receipt comments from the previous receipt.
Click ‘Post Payment’ once you have verified that information in all fields are correct.
Next, you will see the following screen which confirms a receipt has been created successfully:
NOTE: In Pontem Tax Administration, the tax bills for this tax period will ‘now have the status of ‘DELINQ Bill’ and under the column heading of ‘Unpaid‘ they will be displayed as ‘DTBILL’ (see below). Any tax bill edits or payments of these bills will now be managed in Pontem’s Delinquent Tax software module.
A delinquent bill can also be added (and paid) in ‘Manage Property Records’ (MPR) using ‘Add DQ Bill’. This option is typically used to manually add a delinquent tax bill into the system due to some condition which did not exist at the time of settlement (e.g., a later Michigan Tax Tribunal ruling).
PREPARING THE DELINQUENT ROLL
After the process of importing settlement files from the local treasurer is complete in Pontem Tax Administration, and the settlement date has been ‘frozen’, the delinquent bills can be transferred into Pontem’s Delinquent Tax module.
STEP ONE: Selecting the Delinquent Bills to be Transferred
In the lower right corner of the Prepare Delinquent Roll workspace, click the 'Transfer ALL' button to display the 'Prepare Delinquent Tax Roll' window.
A user can select to transfer delinquent bills for one or more tax periods at a time by removing the check marks at the tax periods which should not be included in the transfer process.
Once the settlement dates have been entered into the Tax Unit Control (TUC) screen for the ‘Tax Unit’ and ‘Tax Period’ in Pontem’s Tax Administration software module, the transfer of delinquent bills will be allowed. When the transfer is complete, a ‘DT Transfer Date’ will be set on the Delinquent tab of the TUC record/s.
STEP TWO: Performing a Trial Run Before Transferring Delinquent Bills from
Pontem Tax Administration to Pontem Delinquent Tax
‘Trial Run’ provides users the opportunity to make sure the correct bills and base tax will be added to a delinquent roll. ‘Trial Run’ can be run multiple times. Once any bill issues are discovered and corrected, the user will use the ‘Transfer’ process to actually import delinquent bills from Pontem’s Tax Administration software to Pontem’s Delinquent Tax module.
The result of running the Trial Run is the DT Transfer Report:
The trial run in the example above was performed for the three available tax periods in 2010 – S10 (summer), W10 (winter), and D10 (denial). A fourth tax period option would be for the village tax period to be transferred. In the report, each tax period and its totals are printed separately.
The possible ‘Actions’ this report will display are: ‘Added’ (new to the DT), ‘Skipped’ (the bill was already in the system or has a zero or negative balance), and ‘Updated’ (indicates the bill already is in DT and is being updated by the transfer. For instance if a user transferred a parcel with S10/W10 periods and then V10 – the bill would be updated.)
Compare this report to the ‘Tax Bill Statistics Report with DT Base’ (filtered by Real Property and excluding Buildings on Lease Land (BLL)) from the Tax Administration system. The report is found in Reports | Tax Bills | Tax Roll Totals | Tax Bill Statistics Report with DT Base. Transfer the roll once you approve the trial run audit report. Once the transfer is done, click ‘Finish’.
STEP Three: Print Delinquent Reports
In ‘Manage Delinquent Bills’ you will now find the newly-created bills listed with a status of ‘DELINQ.’
After the transfer process is complete, the ‘Delinquent Tax Roll’ should be printed. Other reports related to the new delinquent bills can be found under the ‘DT Tax Bill Reports’ in the ‘Reports Menu‘.
Configuration items to consider:
1. To Include or not include local unit interest and penalty in base tax?
NOTE: Prior to transferring tax bills from Pontem Tax Administration to Delinquent Tax, the user must select a default for whether or not to include penalty and/or interest in the delinquent bill Base Tax. This option is defined in the local unit’s Tax Unit Control (TUC) record in Pontem Tax Administration.
Some of our clients have indicated they always want the penalty from a denial bill to roll into de-linquent bills. This can be managed via the ‘Delinquent’ tab for the appropriate Dxx tax period.
2. Configurations to transfer Non Lien Bills into the Delinquent Roll
Pontem’s Delinquent Tax software allows for the transfer of delinquent tax bills for personal property, IFT-CFTs and Buildings on Leased Land. These items are set as preferences in System Preferences | DT Configuration | DT Tax Bills and should be selected prior to preparing the delinquent tax roll. These bills are considered non-lien delinquent bills and are designated as such during the transfer process.
NOTE: When tax bills identified as Personal Property (this is done by the property class identification on the tax bill) are transferred to DT they are identified as ‘Non Lien.’ Delinquencies identified as Non Lien are not subject to the PA 123 Foreclosure process and will remain in DELINQ status until paid.
Buildings on Leased Land (BLL), while considered Real Property, are also not subject to the PA 123 Foreclosure process. Most of the time BLL properties are identified with a specific BLL property class, but in those instances where they are not we can still identify those properties and have them correctly transfer to DT as Non Lien. This is done simply by assigning a ‘District Lease Code’ to the parcel record.