How to Appeal Your Property Taxes
Original post by Zara Law Group
Thinking about appealing your property tax this tax season? Like an often-painful annual tradition, you’re probably spending your first few months of the year preparing your taxes. If you’re startled by a significant or sudden increase in your property bill, don’t panic! You may have grounds for a property tax appeal. However, property tax appeals can be lengthy and complex. Here are 10 key steps to appeal property taxes in 2021.
Finding a Property Tax Appeal Attorney
Everyone needs a little help sometimes! If you’re ever lost or confused on your legal rights or financial options, know there is always a professional who can help. These next steps will help you dig deep into your property tax appeal, but don’t be afraid to seek an expert to guide you through the process.
Know Your Property Tax Appeal Deadlines
While you wait for your home assessment and tax information to arrive, spend some time planning ahead. Deadlines vary by local area, so be sure to check online or call a licensed local tax expert or professional to make sure you’re informed.
Your deadline may seem far away, but tax appeals, especially with limitations on in-person working, can be a time-consuming process. So planning ahead is the best first step in any property tax appeal.
Take a (Tax) Break
There are many unique tax breaks and credits you may be entitled for. From your age to your occupation, your local area may just offer you a specific break you might not expect. Working with a tax professional or expert to find even the strangest legitimate tax breaks can make a big impact.
Tax breaks are rebates are not automatic! You will have to apply and often research these breaks on your own, or with the help of a tax expert. Just another reason starting early is so important!
Use your Tax Resources
Check with your friends, family and even the internet! While you should not take any financial or legal advice from internet strangers, shared resources and stories can help you get a better understanding of your value or tax breaks you may be unaware of.
Check Your 2021 Property Record
Believe it or not, mistakes happen everywhere! Checking your property’s record card is your chance to set the record straight on your property.
Your property record card is the official description of your house and may be found at the assessor’s website or office. This will list the bedrooms, bathrooms, and any other information pertinent to your assessment.
If you see incorrect or outdated information, reach out to your assessor immediately! They may be able to make an update that could directly lead to a reduction.
Peek at the Neighbors
Those nosey neighbors may be annoying, but they might just make the difference in your tax appeal!
Compare your property card to similar homes in the area. Are they being valued higher? This may be helpful in building evidence in your appeal.
Dig for Deep Details
You’re almost there! The final step before building your case is to dig for details. Do you have blueprints? Was there a recent change to the home? Depending on local law, you may even want to hire an outside professional such as an appraiser to maximize your evidence. You will want as much evidence as possible, so leave no taxable stone unturned and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Preparing Your Property Tax Appeal
If you’ve completed all the steps above, you may not be ready to build your case. Gather together the information gathered from your property record, researching local properties, and digging for tax breaks to finally build your case. Make sure it’s tight and be sure to reach out to a professional for any legal or financial advice. This is the start of the appeal process!
Presenting Your Tax Appeal
Time to make it official! Once you feel confident, it’s time to send the appeal! In most areas, you’ll do this by sending the appeal and evidence directly to the assessor. If the assessor approves your appeal, they will reassess the property.
However they may deny or not adjust your value to what you think is fair. If this happens, it’s not over yet! Take your case to the appeals board and you’ll get a chance to argue your case. Put on your best suit (or stay-at-home Webcam filter) and present your evidence. This is your chance to prove your case!
Step Ten: Relax and Reduce
Congrats! Hopefully, you won your appeal. This means it’s time to relax after a long process. Sit back and save! You’ve reduced your yearly taxes by appealing your property tax.
Property Tax Appeal Consultations
To learn how our property tax attorneys can potentially reduce your residential & commercial real estate property tax obligations, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.