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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What is a property tax appeal like?

By Jet Russell

Dealing with taxes can always be a nerve-racking and even scary experience. There are always so many details to deal with if you want any chance of hanging onto some of your hard-earned money. Applying for a property tax appeal is no different. When you decide you want to file an appeal, you need to make sure that you follow all the procedures or else your appeal could take forever to go through, or even be rejected. Here are a few steps you need to take to get started on your way to a successful property tax appeal.

File your appeal

Property tax appeals
Only property owners can file property tax appeals
It may seem obvious, but the first step of the process is to actually file your appeal with the tax agency. Your state's tax agency will have forms available that they can send you by mail, or in many cases you can find the forms online on the agency's web site. You want to get your information together quick and get started on this because there are often deadlines for filing a property tax appeal, which is typically within the 30 to 45-day range.

Make sure you are authorized to file the appeal

Not everyone can file a property tax appeal. You must be the actual owner of the property or an officially designated agent of that person in order to file an appeal of property tax assessment. That means you cannot file an appeal for your aging parents, your children or friends unless you are officially that person's agent.

Make sure you know what you are appealing

When you file a property tax appeal, you are not appealing the percentage of tax that you owe on your property. You are only appealing the actual value of your property that is used to calculate your taxes. You are trying to show that there was an error, either an overestimation or an underestimation, in the value of your property.

Make sure you include the required information in your appeal

There are several things that must be included in a property tax appeal. You much include your property's parcel number. You need to specify why you think the assessed value of your property is not correct. You'll want to include any evidence that supports your reasons for thinking the assessment was incorrect, such as the value of similar properties in the area. Make sure you fill out the entire appeals form and that all the information is correct. Don't forget to sign the form.

Filing a property tax appeal does not have to be a painful experience. Just make sure  you are paying attention to details and including as much supporting evidence as you can. Remember, the burden of proof that there is an error in property tax assessment is on the person filing the appeal, so be as complete as you can. Also, you will want to read the rules and regulations that apply to your particular tax agency to make sure you are doing everything properly and legally. No general guidelines such as those provided in this article can cover all circumstances everywhere. However, if you follow all these suggestions, you will be on your way to a successful property tax appeal process.

About the author: Article written by Jet Russell. Jet Russell is a full time blogger and Internet Entrepreneur. Jet likes to write articles about law and finance.

Image license: Luc/Openclipart, US-PD