Deadlines for property tax protests are quickly approaching, and if you want to lower your appraised value – and subsequently your annual tax burden – the time to act is now. To help you get started (and see success) we’ve pulled together some of our top property tax protest tips below. Use them to your advantage to lower your tax bill – both now and years down the line.
- Use a pro. When it comes to property tax protest tips, none is more important than this one. Using a professional to handle your tax protest comes with so many benefits. Most importantly, it gives you an expert, knowledgeable partner who can build your case and boost your chances of success. They know what it takes to win a protest, and they can make it happen. Using a pro also adds convenience for you. There’s no gathering of evidence or tedious forms, meetings or hearings. They do it all for you. It’s easy, simple and hassle-free.
- File one every single year – no matter what. This is a big one. Even if you filed a property tax protest last year (and won), do it again this year – and every year after that. It shows you know the value of your home, you’re tuned into the market and that you won’t take a sky-high valuation lying down. Also, the protest process is often an arbitrary one. You win some; you lose some. The more times you try, the more chances you have at winning!
- Get your neighbors on board. As far as property tax protest tips go, this is one of these least well-known – but it’s a biggie. When you’re about to file your tax protest, stop by your neighbors’ houses and encourage them to do so, too. When your neighbors get their property valuations lowered, it makes it infinitely easier for you to as well. The appraisal district will use comparable home valuations and sales in the neighborhood to determine what your home is worth and how much taxes you should pay on it. The lower those other area homes are, the lower your tax bill will be.
- Know your deadline. Though most appraisal districts have a property tax protest deadline sometime in May, the exact date tends to vary from county to county. Some even offer late protest dates, so be sure to check your local county appraisal district website for updated info on when your protest must be filed by. You don’t want to miss your chance, as it could hurt your future chances as well.
- Have the right evidence. Did you buy your home in the last couple of years? Use your settlement statement to show what you paid for the property – and if that number’s below your valuation, you might just have a done deal. Did your neighbor sell their home for $20K under your valuation? Use that to prove your home’s appraisal is off. Your tax appeal partner can help you gather this evidence and even present it to the appraisal district on your behalf.
- Avoid e-filing. Some appraisal districts offer you the ability to file your property tax protest online. Though this might be tempting, avoid e-filing at all costs. In our experience, it significantly lowers your chances at success and can impact the overall savings you’re able to get from your protest.
Even if you’ve already filed your Texas property tax protest, you can still hire an agent to help you through the process. They’ll give you the best shot at winning your appeal and maximizing your savings.
Have a question? Contact Mishkin Santa.
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