Why You Should Be Using a Texas Tax Protest Service

Property Taxes 101

Statistics show that the median property tax in Texas is $2,275, which is 3.65% of an average taxpayer’s income and 1.81% of the property’s value. Texans are among the highest property taxpayers in the whole country. That’s why using a Texas tax protest service has become a necessity for many homeowners. 

According to tax laws in Texas, taxes are collected for each county. Every county has a different method of collecting and assessing taxes. Thus, there is no single property tax rate that applies to all properties in the state. 

The district chief appraiser values properties every year and sends relevant notices to property owners. If you are not satisfied with the appraised value of your property, you can protest it to get a fair tax value

However, protesting your property tax in Texas isn’t exactly simple. You have to fill out a few forms, prepare for a hearing, and submit substantial evidence to support your objections to the appraiser’s decision.

Homeowners often don’t understand the protest process properly and end up losing their cases. On the other hand, a tax protest service can take care of the whole process–saving you time, money, and hassle. Here’s an overview of why using a Texas tax protest service will work in your favor. 

Reasons for Using a Texas Tax Protest Service 

Property taxes in Texas are much higher than in other states in the U.S. and take away a substantial chunk of the taxpayers’ incomes. The good news is that property tax can be appealed. 

Thus, if you want to save any money on your taxes, property tax is the one you should protest. Here are the benefits of using a Texas tax protest service. 

PROPERTY TAX IS AD VALOREM 

According to the N.Y. Times, there’s an unfair trend of inequalities in property value assessment all across the U.S. Due to this, the majority of homeowners overpay on their taxes. 

Like most other states, the property taxes in Texas are ad valorem. This means that the taxes are based on the monetary value of the property. The tax is expressed as a percentage of your property’s assessed value or sale price. 

Anyone can disagree on the “value” of a property. If the chief appraiser has determined a value for your property, you may disagree with it based on the evidence you have collected. 

If you’re not sure about the proper valuation of your property, you can count on a property tax protest service to help you out. 

Since these professionals work with hundreds of Texas properties every year, they can help you determine if your property is properly appraised. 

COLLECTION OF EVIDENCE 

After you fill out the tax protest form, the appraisal review board sends you a notice. While this notice includes information about your protest hearing, such as the time, subject matter, and place, it also provides you with information on an informal meeting that can be conducted beforehand to effectively resolve the protest. 

In either case, you need to collect evidence for the hearing if you want to strengthen your case. 

How does a tax protest service help in this regard? 

A professional can collect the required evidence more effectively than you can. Here are some proofs that speak volumes in the district court: 

  • Photographs: The tax protest service collects photographs of your properties and that of surrounding homes to form a comparison if you suspect that your property’s appraised value is not uniform with others in the region. 
  • Sales Documentation: Professionals collect closing statements, listings, and other documentation that they further show in the appraisal review board hearing. 
  • Newspaper Articles: News articles, online or print, form substantial evidence when you have to prove that a property is appraised higher than its actual value. 
  • Engineering Reports: Since you’re not familiar with the proceedings of an appraisal review board meeting, you may not know the kind of engineering reports needed in court. But a professional can help you immensely in this regard. 
  • Property Surveys: A tax protest service will also present property surveys and statistics in the appraisal review board hearing on your behalf. 
  • Affidavits: If you cannot appear in the hearing physically, you may provide your evidence through an affidavit. If you fail to submit the affidavit in time, you will lose the right to be heard by the appraisal review board. In that case, the board will give you a new date after you provide a statement with good cause for your absenteeism. Instead of going through this hassle, you can hire a pro who will file and submit everything in time. 
  • Architectural Blueprints and Drawings: According to the Comptroller’s Office, property tax protestors can also submit architectural blueprints and drawings as evidence in court. A Texas tax protest service can help you access these drawings and present them appropriately in the appraisal review board hearing. 

Related: 8 Reasons to Protest Your Tax Appraisal in Texas

MAKING A STRONG CASE 

The appraisal review board sends you a notice upon receiving your protest form. The notice informs you about the day and time of the hearing. 

The hearing has two parts. One, you need to present your evidence. Two, you have to argue your case. Both the evidence and arguments should be aligned with the reasoning for the protest you have mentioned in your protest form. 

If you’re not familiar with how the evidence ties in with the reason or what the property surveys and engineering reports indicate, you may weaken your case. Meanwhile, a Texas tax protest service will have a team of professionals to represent you. 

According to the law in Texas, an agent can represent you at the hearing. The representative of the tax protest service will be more knowledgeable about the required evidence and proceedings of the hearing than a typical homeowner. 

The Comptroller’s Office warns that “wishful thinking” and “emotional arguments” will not get you anywhere in the appraisal review board hearing. The board’s job is to certify that the value of your home is based on market trends. 

Many homeowners fail to make a strong case because they let their biases and emotions get in the way. However, a professional will argue your case “by a clear and concise presentation” of the evidence, as instructed by the Comptroller’s Office

HIGHER SUCCESS RATE 

One of the main reasons for using a Texas tax protest service is that when a professional handles your case, there’s a higher chance of you succeeding in your appeal and saving money on your property tax. 

For one, these professionals are familiar with the guidelines surrounding proper submission, late submissions, appeals, and what to do if you’re not satisfied with the decision made by the appraisal review board. 

Secondly, they collect reliable and sufficient evidence to ensure you have a strong case. Most importantly, a tax protest service will typically only charge you an additional fee if they’re successful in lowering your tax. 

Since their own earnings also depend on your success, you can expect tax protest services to be fully committed to your case even if they’re working on a dozen others. 

LOWER HASSLE COSTS 

Berkeley research showed that most people don’t file protests because of the “hassle costs.” Although there is no fee for filing the protest form, homeowners have to spend a lot of time and energy on finding out basic information about filing an appeal. 

The researchers calculated the hassle costs of filing one protest to be $226, on average. Considering that not all appeals are successful and the average amount homeowners save on their property tax is less than $300, it’s likely that in most cases, the cost of filing surpasses the savings. 

Due to this, many homeowners are reluctant to file their protests. 

Instead, if you hire a tax protest service in Texas, you won’t have to spend an extra $226. If the service is successful in getting you tax savings they’ll charge a certain percentage fee, far less than that $226 hassle cost.  

H3: Related: How to Lower Property Taxes in Texas

What to Look For in a Texas Property Tax Protest Service

A property tax protest service in Texas will file the protest form on your behalf, represent you during the appraisal review board hearing, and follow up with more proceedings if you’re not satisfied with the board’s decision. 

Since these professionals will protest your property tax on your behalf, you need to make sure you pick the right service for the job. Here are some things to look for in a Texas property tax protest service. 

REASONABLE PRICING 

As mentioned earlier, the average savings homeowners get by protesting their property tax is around $300. Over time this adds up– not only in the immediate savings but also in keeping your property tax low year after year. 

It’s best to work with a service that charges you a flat annual fee and an additional percentage only if they successfully reduce your tax. Choose a service that calculates your costs based on actual savings, not reductions in value, and that takes into account exemptions. In this way, you won’t lose a significant part of your savings in service fees. 

REGISTERED AGENTS 

All registered agents in Texas have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Make sure you only work with a service that has registered professionals since these individuals will appear before the appraisal review board hearing on your behalf. 

EXTENSIVE EXPERTISE 

A newer and less experienced tax protest service might charge you a lower fee, but that’s of no use if they can’t accomplish a victory. It’s best to choose tax protest services with extensive experience, since they are likely to have handled multiple other cases like yours in the past. 

Do You Have to Protest Property Tax Every Year?

Yes, you must protest your property tax every year if you’re unsatisfied with the appraised value. The decision of the appraisal review board is only binding for one year. 

If the chief appraiser raises the value of your home the next tax year, you need to go through the process again. 

Instead of letting this discourage you from filing a protest altogether, it’s better to work with a tax protest service that takes care of your tax protests every year and represents you as long as you’re the owner of your property. 

A Reliable Tax Protest Service for Texas Taxpayers

If you plan on using a Texas tax protest service to ensure fair tax valuation, Home Tax Shield is the ideal choice. Signing up for the service only takes a few minutes. Once you’ve signed up, you don’t have to worry about protesting your property tax ever again. 

As long as you own the property, Home Tax Shield will take your property through the protest process every year, guided by experience that has built an 83% success rate. Sign up today to lower your property tax. 

Apr 13th 2022

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