Unreasonable tax property appraisals can take you by surprise. But many savvy property owners are becoming prepared for this situation by researching all the technicalities of protesting a tax appraisal.
Though nobody loves to pay taxes, especially when they are unreasonably high, not many people actually take time to formally file a protest. According to 2020 research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, around 8.4% of people who receive tax appraisals succeed in filing a formal tax protest.
In addition to that, another 8.4% of the participants obtained help from a reputable professional tax service to protest against their taxes.
However, many taxpayers don’t even file their property tax protests. Some major factors responsible for this trend could be long queues at the tax offices, commute expenses, or misunderstanding the process.
Well, due to the pandemic, now you don’t have to deal with these issues and can instead file a Texas property tax protest online.
Ready to gather your documents and start that protest online? The procedure and deadlines for submitting protest forms may differ from county to county, so you may have to keep an eye on the guidelines given by your county administration. But don’t sweat about it; we have done all the basic work for you in this post.
The first reaction of many homeowners after receiving a tax letter is surprise, or even shock. But once this shock wears off, a savvy homeowner will take immediate action since they don’t have much time to formally disagree with the amount they’re informed that they owe.
Generally, Texans have 30 days after receiving their property tax appraisal to file a protest.
In Texas, citizens have the right to file the property tax protest in many ways:
However, some counties may have limited options available.
For instance, in Dallas County, citizens can now protest electronically via the uFile system available in their online accounts. They can also mail the form or drop it off at the tax appraisal district office.
The Texas Comptroller’s Office requires that the state appraise taxable properties by January 1st each year. The value is evaluated by every county’s appraisal district based on the Texas Property Tax Code.
The tax value also depends on several factors. While some may help reduce your tax amount, others can increase the amount considerably.
If you’ve just received a property tax appraisal, you need to understand these factors before protesting against it, whether you are able to submit your Texas property tax protest online or not. Knowledge about the process and requirements will allow you to protest with confidence.
Some common factors that impact your tax assessments include:
Hiring a professional company to protest and appeal your property tax appraisal is the easiest way to handle a Texas property tax protest. But if you’re appealing on your own, it’s likely that the most accessible way is with an online submission.
It’s always better to start acting on your online protest as soon as you receive the tax appraisal since it’s a lengthy process.
If you already have a unique property identification number (PIN), you can use it to access your account quickly. Otherwise, you need to visit your county’s appraisal district’s website and check your assessed value.
Regardless of your property value, you can always protest, and in some cases you can do so online. Let’s see how different counties enable the citizens to file a Texas property tax protest online.
Dallas county has been offering online protests to the citizens for some time.
The entire property tax protest procedure requires the homeowner to:
“Evidence” means documents and photos that clearly show inequitable property values in a neighborhood or anything that strengthens your case, such as estimates for repair or other documentation regarding values. You’ll need to have collected these documents ahead of time and have them ready to submit.
These proofs are then reviewed by appraisers, who take up to two weeks to evaluate the situation. Then, they send an email response to the applicant prior to their Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearing.
Keep in mind that you need the PIN to access the uFile System.
Apart from catering to homeowners, Dallas County also allows commercial and business property owners to file their tax protests online.
Collin County allows citizens to protest against the property tax if they acquire or lease it after January 1.
In addition, you can protest against any actions the appraisal district takes against your property, such as the appraised value, exemptions, or errors.
Just as in other counties, you’re allowed to submit a written protest up to 30 days after the Collin County appraisal district mails you the notice.
Unfortunately, the Collin County Appraisal District has a restricted policy for online protest submissions. Therefore, not every homeowner is eligible to register an online protest.
However, the written protest option is available for all. If you go this route, be sure to choose registered mail.
Once submitted, your protest is sent to the chief appraiser of the county district. Then, you’ll be invited to a formal hearing with the Collin County Appraisal Review Board.
The Collin County appraisal district may also offer you an informal hearing to resolve your issue before the formal hearing.
The deadline for the submission of the form in 2021 was May 17th.
COVID-19 caused several changes in the Denton Central Appraisal District’s (DCAD) appraisal protest rules.
The appraisal district started accepting online protest forms for 2020, with some restrictions. But now, it allows almost all the property owners to protest against their tax notices over the internet.
In Denton County, mailings are scheduled to occur in May. The citizens have to submit the protest within 30 days after the notice is mailed.
The DentonCAD also responds to the taxpayers via phone services as well.
Tarrant County has the only appraisal district that works on a mathematical algorithm to approve the protest form.
The appraisers evaluate your online offer during a protest’s first stage and decide whether it should be accepted or not.
When your estimated value comes within the accepted range, it gets approved by the board. If not, then the district may negotiate with you online before the formal hearing of the ARB.
In Tarrant County, you can file the Texas property tax protest online.
Suppose you are a property owner, a property owner’s agent, or a property’s lessee. In that case, you’re subject to file a notice of protest with the Tarrant Appraisal Review Board (TARB), not with the Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD).
To file your protest online, you will follow these steps:
You can also file the Notice of Protest form and deliver it to the TARB.
Alternatively, you can also download, print, and submit a standard form to TARB from TAD’s or the Comptroller’s website.
For the delivery of the form, you can use:
You’ll address the mail to TARB’s post office box address (P.O. Box 185519, Fort Worth, Texas 76181-0519). Be sure that postage is prepaid and that the post office cancellation mark is before the deadline present on the Property Value Notice of TAD.
Moreover, if you’re using a common or contract carrier, you need to address the mail to TARB’s street address (2500 Handley Ederville Rd, Fort Worth, Texas 76118).
This mail must also have prepaid handling changes and a receipt (by the carrier) mark of a date before the deadline.
The deadline for filing is printed on the Property Value Notice from TAD. As for the previous year, it was May 15th.
Johnson County gives homeowners two methods to appeal tax appraisals at the county level.
One is submitting the protest form in early spring when Notices of Appraised Value are sent to property owners. The second opportunity is protesting by Payment Under Protest in fall or late spring.
There are two options for filing the protest in Johnson County as well:
The most convenient option to protest against a tax appraisal is using the PIN to submit it online. The PIN is printed on the Notice of Appraised Value or NOAV. You can use it to access your account, fill out the form, and submit it.
You can find the form for informal appeal on the back of the early spring NOAV.
If you’re not satisfied with the results at the informal level, you can move on to two more levels. These results will also contain the instructions for filing to the higher two Board of Tax Appeal (BOTA) levels.
Remember that if you file a protest appeal once, you can’t submit another appeal in the same year.
The deadline for submitting forms is standard 30-days from when the homeowner receives the mail. Last year’s due date was May 17, 2021.
Filing a successful Texas property tax protest online seems exhausting for homeowners who are always on the go and don’t have time to deal with the documentation and analysis required. This situation is the same for most homeowners.
If you’re on a similar bandwagon and have just received a tax appraisal form, you may be hesitant to begin figuring out the arduous process of filing a protest, whether you can submit it online or not.
If you want to deal with this situation as a one-man-army, you need to acquire, evaluate, and adjust market trends and data. You also have to select the right comparables, submit proofs to the county, talk and negotiate with a reputable appraiser, and attend the review board meetings.
Of course, this takes a considerable amount of your time and resources, and that will cover your property tax protest for this year only. You’ll need to do it all again next year.
So how can you come out of this situation without compromising on anything? How can you protect your time and expense while still protesting your property taxes efficiently, correctly, and effectively? By working with a service like Home Tax Shield.
Home Tax Shield is a professional property tax service with experience handling a variety of property tax protest situations. Your tax professional will use data science and AI to develop your case. They’ll ensure you’re submitting the right form, at the right time, with the right documentation, and they will represent you at your tax hearing each year. If you’re ready to get your protest appeal started, learn more about Home Tax Shield or take the plunge and fill out our one-step form today.
Apr 4th 2022
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