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National Directory of Property Tax Protest Consultants


National Directory of Property Tax Protest Consultants

You probably dread receiving your property tax assessment in the mail. All too often, the assessed value will have increased, even if home prices all around you seem to be falling. When this happens, you face higher property taxes. You can appeal your property tax assessment, but this process can be intimidating. Fortunately, tax protest or dispute companies provide all the services necessary to successfully challenge an assessment. As experts in local real estate and the appeal process, they ensure that you present the best case for a reduction. HouseCashin’s directory of top-rated property tax protest companies can guide you to the best consultants in your location. By using this list, you can quickly get assistance and tax relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

A property tax appeal is the process to contest unfair property tax assessment. Because property tax is an ad valorem tax, your annual real property tax increases with your assessed property value. So, while an appeal does not challenge your tax rate, it is a way to protest a property tax increase. The procedure varies by locality, but usually people first present their case to the assessor and then, if dissatisfied with their answer, appeal to a reviewing board or court. When fighting a property tax assessment, owners will need to present an evidence-based argument. Property tax consulting firms and contest companies can help with this process.

All the possible reasons to protest property taxes boil down to one core purpose: saving money. Challenging your tax valuation is generally an accessible, low-risk process. A bad outcome—a denial—leaves owners in no worse a position than they were before. Depending on where they live, property owners can have over a 50% success rate in lowering assessed value—especially if they use a reputable tax protest company. In turn, they can have over a 50% success rate in getting a tax reduction. This saves them money with little inconvenience or expense. Generally, the only time it may be inadvisable to appeal property taxes is when you are looking to sell the property. Buyers will compare the listing price to the tax assessment, and the lower the tax assessment, the lower the offers you will probably get.

If the property at issue is for your business (i.e., a rental property), you can deduct property tax appeal fees as a business expense. Otherwise, you likely cannot get tax deductions for property tax protest costs under the most recent code.

The specific process for disputing your property tax assessment be dictated by your local government. For example, in some towns or counties you may file directly to a tax court; in others, you might first have an assessor review and then appeal to an independent board. More and more, some areas also offer a platform to appeal online. There are a few steps you should follow, however, whatever the official process. First, you should review your property tax assessment as soon as it arrives. Some areas only allow an appeal within a short, 30-day window. Check that the basic details (number of bathrooms, acreage, etc.) are correct and see if the assessed value changed. Second, you should start doing some research. At this stage, you will probably want to consult a professional. They will help you find nearby properties with similar square footage, style, and upgrades, and see if they have recently sold. If no similar properties have recently sold, you can likely still find their property tax assessment and compare it to yours. Third, document information about the property that the government appraiser may not have. For example, the property may have significant interior damage that reduces its value. A real estate tax advisor—often employed by a property tax appeal company—will know what specific issues you should note. Fourth, look into an independent appraisal of your property. Appraisal services are usually provided by tax protest companies and are especially valuable if you expect a large discrepancy. If you recently bought the property, you may not need a new appraisal; you can present the one from that sale as evidence for your case. Finally, compile your findings in a clear and persuasive way. Remember that your appeal needs to be rooted in facts and logic, not emotion. While sometimes straightforward, appeals can get complicated and feel intimidating—especially with rental residential properties. In these cases, the best way to appeal property taxes is to employ a property tax protest company. Top companies can help at every step of the way. Their property tax appeal consultants can offer insight on comparable properties, do appraisals, and even present at the board.

Depending on your ability to navigate the system and the extent to which you think your property was overvalued, it could be worth hiring a property tax protest company. While professional assistance is not free, it can result in a significant tax refund or rebate. If you are comfortable handling the process on your own and feel confident in your knowledge, you might save the expense of a company by appealing on your own. But even then, you could miss something and save more in the long run by using a property tax protest company. Reputable companies ensure you get the best chance at a fair assessment, saving you the most money. The tax experts they employ have intricate knowledge of issues in your area. For example, they know how assessments may affect a specific house, land, or county tax. Professional services also erase any concerns of overlooking a comparable property or missing a deadline. Additionally, property tax protest companies work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they do not charge an upfront cost but rather take a percentage of your tax savings. So, they only make money if you save money. Often, they charge around 20-30%. Depending on your circumstances, you could still save the most by using a tax protest company, even with this fee. Finally, a professional can offer more general, valuable help with property taxes. For example, they could let you know if you qualify for a homestead tax exemption or should be aware of provisions on second home taxes. If you want to be certain that you are paying only a fair property tax, you should hire a quality property tax protest company or advisor.

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