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What Are Your Options When You Forget to File a Property Protest by May 31?

2nd May 2014

Oops! I Missed the May 31st Deadline For My Taxes!

Typically, tax appeals or property protests, are to be filed on or before May 31st. In some cases, you are able to file a late protest if there were "extenuating circumstances." Do not think that you can do this each year, but in the event that you actually had a reason for missing the deadline, you are able to go ahead and request an appeal/protest.

Where Do I Start?

Get in touch with the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) and let them know you'd like to file a protest late. An acceptable reason might be that you were in the hospital or out of state for a funeral. The final decision is up to the ARB if they are going to grant you a late filing.

Then the ARB will determine in an informal review if the protest has legitimacy. You are requested not to speak to any members of the ARB outside of the hearings, even if you know them personally, about this matter. In a town like Marion, TX this might be considered an unfair advantage, because the ARB is made up of your local citizens.

Texas property owners can call the Property Tax Division regarding property tax appeals, property tax exemptions, property tax hearings and timely payment of property taxes. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has provided to the public a great resource on Property Tax Basics.

If you have further questions, you may contact your appraisal district in person or by phone. Remember that it is up to you to make the case and prove why your taxes are assessed incorrectly.

What Happens When My Protest is Granted?

If the ARB decides that there is merit to the protest, they have the power to instruct those at the County Appraisal District (CAD) to make the changes to your tax bill for you. During this time, you are not accruing any fees, including late fees.

You will then have a formal hearing with the CAD, in which evidence is presented from both sides on the issue. This may feel a little like a courtroom case and you even have the ability to cross examine the representative of the CAD. In all honesty, the pressure is more on them to prove that your assessment was correct. If there is any doubt, you are most likely going to win the property protest and your tax bill will be adjusted.

In the event that the ARB decision is not what you believe to be correct, you may still appeal this and actually have a courtroom hearing. It may also be possible for you to seek arbitration through the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). You'll be required to pay a fee to file for these appeals, just like in any court case.

An important note is that you must pay the taxes that have been deemed due, by their due date given to you, while your case is in appeal. Failure to do so will accrue fees and could effect your case.

Contact O'Connor & Associates today for more information on your property tax protests!


Posted in: Protest Property Taxes
Keywords: Texas Property Tax Appeals, Texas Property Tax Protests, Harris County Appraisal District

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