Property Taxes 101
Most Texans lament over the high property taxes levied against them every year. Yet, only a handful of owners ever take time to file formal protests. In 2020, just over 8.4 percent of families managed to file a formal tax protest independently. Further, only 8.4 percent of property owners appealed the high property taxes through a reputable agent. So, this trend begs the question, is Texas tax protest legit?
Why are protest tax appeals this uncommon in Texas? Part of the reason for this low appeal rate is misinformation. Only a few Texans know that the Texas tax protest is a legit avenue for property owners to appeal against high taxes. Further, most Texas property owners believe that these appeals rarely yield any exemptions or tax reductions.
Here, we demystify the existing misconceptions about protest tax appeals.
Protest tax appeals are enshrined in the state’s tax code. Title 1 on Property Tax Code, Subtitle F. categorizes these appeals as remedies. The law provides that a property owner in Texas has the right to appeal an appraisal on their land if they consider the taxes levied to be too high.
The best part is that the appraisal review board is an independent body. Once the protest moves to the board, they will then assess the case and offer a final determination on the fair market value that should apply to the property.
As a property owner, it’s important to first understand that property tax protests are a legal remedy for you.
The state does not levy any additional rates to taxpayers when they file for protest tax. Whether the application is successful or not, you don’t need to worry about financial risks. However, the hassle involved often limits Texans from making appeals.
Most property owners in Texas fear the unknown when filing tax protests. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose as a taxpayer. The only necessary cost you must be willing to incur is the cost of your time if you protest yourself, or the cost of bringing a reputable agent on board. The best part about working with an agent is that you can focus on other important matters as the agent takes care of the appeal process.
In most cases, the cost of working with an agent is way lower than the much you save from the unfairly high taxes charged on your property. There’s no need to worry about the possibility of the government setting additional rates when you protest the tax. Most people wonder, is Texas tax protest legit? Well, it’s not only legit, but everyone has the right to do it.
One of the main reasons Texans overlook the need to protest taxes is the assumption that the appeal is dead on arrival. However, this perception is due to insufficient information regarding the procedure for application or tax protests appeal and the consequent determination process. The Texas protest tax appeal procedure affirms the legitimacy of this process.
All you need to start the appeal process is to fill Form 50-132 Notice of Protest. While anyone can do this independently, working with property tax experts is always advisable. In most cases, you’ll find highly qualified agents with in-depth insights about protest tax.
The Appraisal Review Board receives notices of protest from all over the county every year. You’ll then receive a formal hearing request from the board. You may opt to let a tax expert handle the hearing process. It has been proven that this often increases your chances of winning the appeal two-fold.
The ARB will then conduct hearings for the tax appraiser and the taxpayer. Depending on the advice from a tax expert, you might also decide to undertake an informal review of the protest with your appraisal district before getting to the formal hearing stage.
The ARB allows a taxpayer to appear before the board through an agent. This also dispels the notion that filing a property tax protest is tedious and time-consuming for the taxpayer. You can continue with your routine activities as the agent follows up on all the matters about the appeal.
Most Texans wonder, “is the Texas tax Protest legit?” and this is because the success rate for such appeals is low in some cases. Perhaps, the problem with most of these appellants is that they don’t work with professional tax experts.
Tax experts understand what the board considers to be admissible evidence. To successfully overturn the high property tax levied on your assets, you need to have specific supporting documents. They include:
· All the necessary deed records
· Respective surveys for the property in question
· Relevant engineering reports
· Blueprints and architectural drawings of the property
· Any News Article that may support your claim
· Receipts and other estimates that show any costs of repairs
· Any relevant listings, statements, and other documentation supporting the property’s actual value
· Available photographs of your property and comparable assets to show the underlying discrepancies
Agents can avail these critical details. The agent’s job is to provide these details and to argue the case in your favor. Ultimately, the dictates of the current market and the evidence presented by your agent will often help sway the case in your favor.
Most property owners in Texas assume that these tax protests never work and that the appeal process is complex and time-consuming. In reality, this can be a daunting process for any taxpayer when they have other daily engagements. But it’s an easy matter for agents who have the capacity and the experience to deal with the board. The first question property owners in Texas ask when engaging tax agents is, “Is Texas tax protest legit?” So the short answer is, of course, it is.
The majority of property owners in Texas overpay their yearly property rates. The trend is replicated across the US due to existing inequities in the assessment of property values. But most of these taxpayers rarely seek legal redress because of the justifiable fear of falling into the hands of scammers. This is why you must always conduct due diligence when considering a protest tax appeal.
At least 65% of protest tax agents win appeals for clients. The success rate is higher in cases where there’s overwhelming evidence to support your claim. This explains why most Texans opt for seasoned agents when making appeals.
It’s possible to win your protest tax appeal whenever you feel over-charged. However, it would be best if you had the support of a legit protest tax appeals agent. So, how do you ensure that you get the best in the market?
Every registered agent has a registration number, the Preparer Tax Identification Number. You may need to ascertain such details before engaging with an agent.
No one wants to be on the losing side. Before engaging an agent to follow up on your protest tax appeal, check the number of cases they have handled and the success rate. Working with a newbie could be a recipe for disaster.
It’s always tempting to go for the cheapest option when sourcing for a tax agent. Even then, it would be best if you didn’t compromise competency at the expense of winning the appeal. Always conduct a market review before deciding on what cost is a fair market value.
You will likely find other people in your circles who had to protest tax appeals in the past. Such referrals present an opportunity for you to choose agents who have a reputation for quality delivery. In most cases, Texans lose their protest tax appeals by working with incompetent agents. Always consider working with agents who have a proven record of delivery.
The main problem with Texans is that they file their tax protest when the deadline is almost due. The rush to beat the deadline can easily affect your ability to get the best out of your appeal. It doesn’t hurt to start the process early. This will also give you peace of mind when everyone else struggles to beat the time constraints.
As noted, the appeals board demands solid evidence to back your claims. Planning allows you the chance to gather every detail you may deem necessary when commencing the appeal process. You also get the opportunity to compare other estimates for property around you without feeling time-constrained.
The legal framework keeps changing. You might need to stay informed about the laws and trends in the real estate markets to ensure you remain on top of things. Sometimes, the variance in the property tax levied is due to underlying dynamics in the market. It’s essential to stay in the know at all times.
Property owners who opt to go it alone often end up frustrated with the process of applying for tax protests. The difference with working with experts is that they have been in the business long enough, and so they understand the processes and steps involved in launching a successful appeal.
Preparing for property tax protest can be a daunting task without the right support system. Your ultimate goal is to get a reprieve for the high tax levied. And as such, you need a seasoned agent by your side.
Home Tax Shield is that trusted companion you can walk with during your tax appeal journey. We meet all the standards necessary to guarantee property owners the reprieve they need.
The best part about our services is that you can still keep your taxes low without having to break a bank. All you need to do is sign up today to start getting a fair property tax every year and avoid the hefty, exaggerating rates.
Feb 1st 2022
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