Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting Through a Tax Appeal; How To Request Property Taxes Reassessment

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Now that the holidays are over, what comes next?  It is the beginning of tax season.  And property taxes are no stranger to this time of year.  As expected given the tumultuous past years we have collectively faced after the real estate bubble burst a while back, many homeowners want to make sure they are paying the right amount of taxes on their property.  If you are unsure as to whether your property taxes accurately reflect the current value of your home, you can request the County Board to reassess the current taxes you are paying.

Even though it may sound like a lot of time between now and April 1st, the deadline to submit your application can creep up very quickly, leaving you in the dark with not enough time to prepare.  Here are some valuable tips on how to prepare for a tax appeal request along with some important links that will provide further information on the process.

For Tax Appeal Success, You Need Evidence

Until and unless you provide the board with valuable, viable information that supports your claim to have your home’s value reassessed it likely that you will not be too successful.  The key is providing evidence demonstrating that other, like kind properties in your area have recently sold for amounts that are far less than your current property value.

In the real estate industry agents and other professionals often deal with “comparable sales” reports.  These are detailed reports that derive what the value of a home should be based on other similar homes that have the same profile.  This profile could be amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, type of structure, type of garage, location, school district – a number of factors.  Realtors aptly perform a comparable sales analysis since they are well versed in the area and have a vested interest in understanding their neighborhoods’ property values. 

Realtors know and understand the ins and outs of such procedures as applying for a reassessment of property taxes.  Both agents are attorneys, for different reasons, offer valuable insight and experience into the process. Important details like the fact that comparable sales must include sales that took place in the year preceding the current tax year and only through October 1st, can be missed if not managed by a professional.  For this reason, it is always a good idea to have that professional backing when you are filing for a tax appeal. 

How Can a Professional Help With Filing a Tax Appeal?

If you have decided to pursue a tax appeal, keep in mind that just like filing federal and state income taxes, the closer you get to the deadline the longer it can ultimately take for processing. 
Here is a list of important and useful links that will guide you through many aspects of the tax appeal process.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be glad to take this on for you!

LA County

Orange County

San Bernardino County