Is it too late to file a protest?
Many homeowners are being hit with sticker shock at the size of their tax bills.
If you did not file a protest by May 31st this year, it is most likely too late but there are still a few options open if you qualify for one of the late protests below.
Clerical/Characteristic Error (25.25c)
You can back-file a protest for up to 5 tax years if the Appraisal District has a qualifying error on your property. You must pay your taxes on-time in order to qualify. These types of errors consist of:
- Clerical/data entry error – such as transposing numbers, entering an 8 instead of a 5, etc.
- Multiple appraisals of your property – such as taxing you for two identical houses when you only have one on your property.
- Inclusion of property that does not exist in that form or location – such as taxing you for your neighbor’s pool because of faulty satellite imagery or for a garage that does not exist.
- Appraisal District failing to update ownership information leading to a tax bill you are not responsible for.
Substantial Error (25.25d)
You are eligible to file this type of protest if your property was substantially over-appraised. In order to qualify for this protest type, you first have to prove that your property was one-third over-appraised. Multiply your appraised value by 0.75 – you must prove that your property is worth less than this value in order to qualify. (Example: You just paid $300,000 for a property but the Appraisal District appraised it for $400,000.)
You must file your protest before January 31st. You must pay your taxes on-time in order to qualify. There is a 10% penalty for filing a successful 25.25d protest.
Failure to Receive Notice (41.411)
If the Appraisal District never sent you a copy of your Notice of Appraised Value (usually mailed in April) then this could be an option for you. You may qualify if:
- You provided the correct mailing address to the Appraisal District and they failed to update it.
- Mail was returned to the Appraisal District.
- You were a victim of mail theft and have documented evidence from the USPS to prove it.
There are other potential options that are even more rare.
For more information:
Texas Protax FAQ