Is it too late to file a protest?
Did you miss the deadline to file a protest by May 31st?
If so, it is considered to be late. However, there are options. See if you qualify for one of the reasons listed below.
Clerical and Characteristic Error (25.25c)
Did you find a qualifying error on your property tax? You have 5 years to file a protest.
To qualify, you must pay your taxes on-time and the error must be:
1. Simple Clerical or Data Entry Error.
Examples include typos, transposing numbers, or wrong information.
2. Multiple Appraisals of your Property.
For instance, being double billed for two identical houses, when you only have one on the property.
3. Inclusion of a property that does not exist in that form or location.
This would be like taxing you for your neighbor’s pool or for a garage that does not exist. It happens because of faulty satellite image.
4. Appraisal District fails to update ownership information.
Sometimes the information is not updated like it should have been. This leads to a tax bill is not your responsibility.
Substantial Error (25.25d)
This type of protest is valid when your property is over-appraised. To qualify it must be a substantial error. First, prove that your property’s appraisal amount is over by a third of its true value. It is easy to find this cut off amount by multiplying your appraised value by 0.75. Then you must prove that your property is worth less than this value.
(Example: Peter just paid $300,000 for a property, but the Appraisal District appraised it for $400,000.)
This protest is due by January 31st. To qualify, taxes must be paid taxes on-time. Note: There is a 10% penalty for filing a successful 25.25d protest.
Failure to Receive Notice (41.411)
If the Appraisal District failed to send you a copy of your Notice of Appraised Value, then this is an option. Normally they are mailed in April in each year.
You may qualify if:
1. You provided the correct mailing address to the Appraisal District. However, they failed to update it.
2. The notice returns to the Appraisal District.
3. You are a victim of mail theft. You can prove it with have documented evidence from the USPS.
There are other rare options for which you may be eligible. Please contact our office for more information.
Is it too late to file a protest? Call or email with questions
For more information:
Texas Protax FAQ
Storm Damage Information After Hurricane Harvey
Update: As of September 18, 2017
We hope this message finds you safe. As we all know, the impacts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are many. Even if the storm did not directly affect your property, most have friends and family members who are dealing with the devastation. Our thoughts go out to each of you as you work to replace, rebuild and come out of this disaster.
During this difficult time of transition, we are here to answer your questions about your property value. Some of our clients are already asking us a few questions. This email answers questions already received, as well as, a few additional questions you may have.
Storm Damage Information and Concerns About Property Values
One question that has been raised concerns how the storm affects your value for the current tax year (2017). Specifically if your value for 2017 can be lowered due to the flooding and damage caused by the storm? The answer at this point is – maybe!
Since the Governor declared Harris and most of the surrounding counties a disaster area, it opens the door for a reappraisal of your property. However, neither the taxpayer, Texas Protax, nor the Appraisal District on their own have the authority to request or conduct a reappraisal after a disaster. The authority to request a reappraisal is in the hands of the local taxing jurisdictions. If a taxing jurisdictions within their boundary requests for properties to be reappraised, then the appraisal district must comply.
Furthermore, some of the taxing jurisdictions could request a reappraisal, while others may not. For example, the Houston Independent School District calls for the reappraisal of all properties within their boundary, but the new value is limited to only the Houston ISD’s taxing authority. It does not extend to Harris County, the City of Houston or any other jurisdiction. Also, if the property value is lowered based on the reappraisal request, then the taxes based on the lower value would be prorated from the date of the reappraisal through the end of the year. Therefore, you would be taxed from January 1st to August 24th at the full market value. Then from August 25th to December 31st on the new reappraised value. If more than one jurisdiction requests the reappraisal, then the new value would apply to all the jurisdictions that make the request.
We don’t think the value based on a reappraisal is one that can be protested. State law doesn’t require the appraisal district to send a notice of the new property value if the appraisal district lowers it. And the appraisal district may not send notices of the new valuations. If the appraisal district is ordered to reappraise property, then after the reappraisals, it will submit the new property values directly to the taxing jurisdiction.
Storm Damage Information and Another Concern About Evidence of the Flooding and Loss
The second question we are hearing a lot, is whether or not evidence of the flooding loss is used as evidence for this year’s (2017) taxes. The short answer is no. If the taxing jurisdictions do not request a reappraisal, then the value of your property is based on the condition as of January 1, 2017. Any damage or change that occurs after January 1 of the current tax year is not considered relevant as evidence at a hearing for 2017.
Although any evidence of damage may not be able to affect the value for 2017, we can definitely use your information for 2018! A few things to remember for 2018:
- Take pictures. Keep all receipts for repairs or insurance claims. This information helps at the hearings. We send you a Request for Information email in March 2018. Our annual questionnaire is an excellent time to share information.
- Tell us when your repairs are complete. We need to know which repairs were made before or after January 1.
- If you make all the repairs to your property prior to January 1, 2018, send us the information. Your repair information could be helpful in differentiating between a repair and a remodel.
Storm Damage Information and Special Rules for Homesteads
For property that is your homestead, please know there are special rules concerning them. The cap and reappraisal is in the year after a disaster. If you replace your home, be aware that when the new structure doesn’t exceed the original square footage and the exterior of the replacement is of similar quality as the original, then the appraisal district cannot change your homestead qualifications. They also can not increase your cap value by more than 10%. When you replace your home with a bigger or higher quality home, then the appraisal district can declare new value and add additional value to your previous cap value. We are happy to answer your questions concerning your homestead eligibility. Please do not hesitate to contact us!
We understand the stress and urgency during this time of disaster. Our promise is to continue to be available to help in any way we can with the appraisal and assessment of your property. Understand the reappraisal process is entirely out of our hands, and we will strive to keep you informed in a timely matter. As government agencies are coming back on line, we will look for announcements and information to keep you up to date on any changes that may come. We include bulletins from the Comptroller’s office with some additional information about disaster reappraisals. The letter from the Comptroller also includes a link to the Comptroller’s website with more information.
Our Gratitude for You
Thank you! You are a valued Texas Protax client. We commit to working with you during this difficult time of repair and rebuilding. Questions or concerns? Please let us know and we will gladly address them.
- Please see attachments from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and also the Texas Property Tax Code concerning this issue.
Your Texas Protax Team
For more information:
Texas Protax FAQ
Steps in a Property Tax Appeal
There are a few steps when appealing your property’s value. This is a condensed list of those steps.
1. First be Sure to File the Protest on Time.
To begin, submit a written protest to the Appraisal District by May 15th.
2. Research Your Property’s Classification.
Second, check out the Appraisal District records. Review the information related to your property. Consider the situation and the details to understand how it is classified. Understand other classifications to compare with your own property.
3. Research the Comparable Sales and Equity in your area.
Then research through the Appraisal District Records. Make note of comparable sales and comparable equity in your neighborhood.
4. Prepare a Presentation.
Target your presentation to address and correct your property’s tax value. Use key comparable sales and comparable equity values to make you case. Include all the organized documents. Understand tax laws at the local, state, and federal levels. Make sure everything is up to date, accurate, clear, and concise.
5. Travel to the Appraisal District.
Wait in the hall to be called for an informal meeting with Appraisal District. Be prepared with an open schedule on that day. It can take hours of waiting before your meeting. Present your case with care.
6. Return to the Appraisal District.
Lastly, if an agreement is not reached at the informal meeting, then return for your formal hearing. The formal hearing is in front of the Appraisal Review Board. You will be sworn in and under oath during the hearing. You will need to present your case again.
Texas Protax can handle all of this for you.
That concludes the steps in a property tax appeal. The professional at Texas Protax have been doing this for over 32 years. Let them do the work for you and you will have a much better chance of success.
For more information:
Texas Protax FAQ