Are you a homeowner or a business owner with one or more properties to your name? Do you disagree with the amount of your latest tax appraisal or feel you’ve been paying too much in property taxes? Then you need a qualified property tax advisor.
The size of your tax bill is determined by your property valuation. Accordingly, having a property that has been overvalued will result in you paying a much higher tax bill than you’d prepared for.
Now, on getting your annual tax assessment, you may want to get the ball rolling on filing an appeal. This would require that you do sufficient research and gather enough evidence to prove that the actual value of your property is not in line with what’s included in your tax assessment.
While taking this on as a personal project is commendable, it’s advisable to seek the help of a third party, preferably a property tax specialist.
Understanding property tax assessment
A property tax assessment is a professional estimation of the market value of real estate. The property may either be residential or commercial.
After the fair market value of your property is determined, your taxes are then calculated based on your property valuation and the rate set by the taxing authority on your locale.
The timing of tax assessments varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction with some occurring annually or every three to five years.
While your property value is a major determinant in an assessment, it’s helpful to know that property tax assessment also takes into account several other factors.
They include the market value of other properties, state and federal aid, current laws, and budgets for city, township, county, school district or other special districts. These factors can lead to an increase or a decrease in property tax despite the current value of your property.
Who are property tax advisors?
A property tax advisor is a professional who either works on a freelance basis or with a certified tax consulting firm. They are well versed in tax laws and the specific regulations guiding each jurisdiction and can serve as a go-between between you and your local tax assessor.
In situations where you feel your tax bill is much larger than it should be and you decide to file an appeal, a tax advisor would be instrumental in filing your protest and arguing your case during the appeal protest.
Things to consider when hiring a property tax consultant
- Find a registered tax advisor with experience in property appraisal
- Examine his or her success rate and track record of reducing taxes for property owners
- Check out their references
- Ask questions about their knowledge of property tax, taxation law, and the appeal process.
- Ensure that their estimation on how much money you can save on property taxes are realistic and not exaggerated.
- After agreeing to payment terms, examine the contract to ensure that there are no variable fees built in.
Property tax experts possess the information and relevant tools required to ensure effective tax administration and compliance for residential and commercial homeowners.
With this wealth of knowledge, they can provide you with the resources you need to win the appeal and ensure successful property tax compliance in the future.