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10 Things to Know Before Protesting Your Taxes

Every taxpayer is allowed to appeal their property tax, but not many do because many are unfamiliar with how to do so. Here are my 10 best tips and tricks for protesting your taxes this year.

#1: Know your deadlines

You must submit your protest within 30 days of receiving your property tax notice, or by May 15, whichever comes later.

#2: Familiarize yourself with the Notice of Appraised Value

Look over your Notice in detail and pay special attention to your Assessed Value and your Total Estimated Tax.

Your notice will also come with a Property Owners Notice of Protest in the envelope which you can fill out and return to your County Appraisal District to notify them of your intent to protest.

#3: File your protest one of three ways

There are three ways you can file your protest:

#1: File online

#2: Mail it in

#3: Deliver in person

#4: Gather comparables

In order to protest your taxes, you need to figure out how much it's worth. The best way to do that is to contact a real estate agent to gather that data for you. Or you can find that information on your own. Just remember - they need to be SOLD comps from 2019 or the first quarter of 2020.

#5: Demonstrate the condition of your home

Gather up all of the information that would be helpful in demonstrating the condition of your home that might affect the value. Examples include: outdated flooring, outdated kitchen, damage, faulty/non-working items, foundation issues, etc.

All of these things would negatively affect the value of your home. Which you actually do want to talk about when protesting your property taxes.

#6: Be thorough

Be able to clearly articulate why you think your property tax is too high. Don't be afraid to talk in great detail about your home and about sales of comparable homes in your neighborhood/area.

#7: Be kind and professional

It's easy to get heated when it comes to talking about your property taxes, but when speaking to officials at the County Appraisal District officials, it's important to remain kind and professional in your conversation with them. Trust us - it goes a long way in getting you a better result in the end!

#8: Be prepared

Be prepared to listen and be prepared with all of your materials.

#9: Don't get emotional

Go in and be as even-keeled as you can. Don't get angry, don't get upset. You'll be better able to communicate if you remain calm.

#10: Be grateful

If you want to instantly disarm your appraiser and get them onto your side, show gratitude as  soon as you walk in the room. Thank them for meeting with you, for their service, and for hearing you out.

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