Chances are many owners have not heard of a substantial error appeal before.

If the property has a substantial error, then the tax code supports owners to file a late appeal.  Instead of the May 15th deadline, the new deadline would be January 31st of the following year!

What is a Substantial Error and How Do I Qualify?

What is it?

Owners may be asking then, what qualifies as a substantial error?

You should never be overtaxed!  If anything, owners should be a bit undertaxed.

If you’re overtaxed by more than one-third, there’s a substantial error. 

You can file a substantial error correction appeal (25.25d) provided it is filed by the tax delinquency date. This is typically Jan. 31 of the following year.

This substantial error occurs with many commercial properties as well as properties that have seen a natural disaster such as flooded properties or properties that have previously flooded.

Within 15 days after a substantial error motion is filed, the Appraisal District will review the property valuation. If the Appraisal District finds an error and the taxpayer agrees to the District’s recommended value, then a Joint Motion can be filed and no further action is required by the taxpayer.

However, if the Appraisal District does not agree that an error has been made or the taxpayer does not agree to the Appraisal District’s recommended value, then the ARB will schedule a hearing on the substantial error motion.

The ARB will hold a hearing on the substantial error motion in the same manner as a regular protest hearing. Substantial error hearings are generally held in March after the taxes for the year are due.

If the ARB cannot find at least a 25% error in the appraised value, then no change can be made.

If the ARB does make a change under this type of motion, the taxpayer must pay a late-correction penalty equal to 10% of the amount of taxes as calculated on the basis of the corrected appraised value. The penalty applies only if a change in the value is made by the ARB. I would recommend paying the taxes in full on the noticed value in case the motion is denied.

How can homeowners qualify?

For property which has been substantially over-assessed, owners can appeal through January 31 by filing a motion to correct an appraisal error for the current tax year (form 50-230).

To qualify for a 2525d property tax appeal, the property must be at least one-third over-assessed. An easier way to think of it is the error must be at least 25% of the market value of the property as determined by the Appraisal District.

A property cannot file a 2525d appeal if:

  1. The property owner or his agent attended an ARB hearing; or
  2. Agreed to an assessed value

If you’ve missed the recent deadline to file your property tax appeal, and you believe that your property may have a substantial error, then proceed to your appraisal district’s website to fill out the property tax appeal form. We have included a Universal Form below if you would like to file by mail. The deadline is Jan 31st of the following year.

Universal Form to File an Appeal

In addition to filling out the appeal form, also include a short, handwritten note requesting the Hearing Evidence Package. Click here to use a template for this.

This package will contain valuable information on how your property is being assessed, which allows you to determine if you’re being fairly taxed or not.

If you’d like to find out sooner rather than later if you’re being fairly assessed or not, visit the Texas Fairness Checker. It’s free and you’ll find out if you’re being fairly assessed in under 2 minutes.