How and when you might be able to file a late property tax protest.

 

While it is generally true that in Texas you have until May 15 or 30 days after you receive your value notice, whichever is later, to file your protest, there are some exceptions. Today, we will talk about Section 25.25(d) in the tax code, commonly referred to as a late protest.

In short, if the appraisal district’s market value exceeds the true market value by more than one third, the taxpayer is entitled to file a motion with the appraisal review board to correct the appraisal rolls. If the value is reduced under a 25.25(d) motion, the taxpayer will be issued a refund (if the taxes were already paid) but must pay the taxing entities a 10% penalty for the late protest. For example, if the taxes before the successful 2525.D protest amounted to $10,000, and, after the value was reduced, and the tax rate was applied, the resulting tax bill was only $6,000, then the actual taxes owed would be  $6,600 ($6,000 + 10%)..

A 25.25(d) motion must be filed before the taxes become delinquent for that year (usually by Jan 31 of the subsequent year). In addition, the taxpayer does not have this special option available if the taxpayer filed a “timely” protest (protested during the regular protest window) and was ruled on by the ARB or withdrew their appeal by reaching an agreed value with the appraisal district or otherwise. In other word, “you don’t get two bites at the apple.” This part of the tax code has some sticky issues that are best addressed by an attorney familiar with the property tax code.

Is a 25.25(d) late protest for you? Do the math. Is your market value per the appraisal district at least one third higher than the true market value? Or in reverse, take 75% of the assessed market value. If your true value is below that number, then maybe it is worth a shot. The 25.25(d) cases are very limited but seem to occur when a property sells after the normal protest deadline, values are volatile, the property is unusual or difficult to appraise, or the property has some defect that the appraisal district is not aware of. An independent appraisal is very helpful with these cases. To read the specifics of Section 2525(d) in the tax code click here. To locate a residential appraiser who is a member of the Appraisal Institute, click here.

And speaking of deadlines, the protest season is not far down the road. You’ll be getting your proposed value statement in mid-April and have only a 30-day window to file a protest. We are recommending you do as thousands of others did last year and use our simple application at www.propertytax.io.  You’ll get an immediate indicator of your chances for a successful protest for free. If we say you have a good chance or higher for a reduction, we recommend you purchase our professional report, or you can use our DIY tool to modify and supplement our report. You’ll find a lot of useful information relating to property taxes as well. While you are visiting the site, be sure to register so you will get a reminder when the protest window opens.

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