July 13, 2024


Mad about real estate

Property Tax Protest Deadline the Tax Deadline that cant be extended

Property Tax Protests are the subject of this week’s Tax Tip. As April 15th approaches… it’s a good reminder for all Texas residents that some tax deadlines cannot be extended. A case in point is Texas’s property tax protest deadline for homeowners. Actually there are two deadlines in play here.

The first deadline, for rendering your property which means providing your property tax authority your written opinion on your property’s value is April 15th. The second deadline, the deadline for protesting this year’s value assessment is May 31st for most Texas homeowners.

Let’s look at the earlier deadline, for rendering your property, first. It’s a good idea to for both home owners and business owners to render your property annually. Why, well because if you render the tax authority must send you a written notice of appraised value if their valuation exceeds the amount on your rendition form. If you do not render, they might not be required send you a notice of assessed value and you might forget to protest an increase in your assessment.

The second deadline is the deadline for filing a protest. This deadline is May 31st for most Texas homeowners.

I noticed a strange thing in two recent articles in the Houston Chronicle. Both articles appeared in the paper on the same day. On one page there was a story with an interview of the Harris County Central Tax Appraisal District. The districts taxman was advising homeowners not to bother protesting their tax valuations this year. The logic for the comment was that the Central Tax Appraisal District felt that home values had only fallen 1.5{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} over the last year so it would be a waste of time for homeowners to file a protest.

I don’t know about you, but as a CPA I always get suspicious when a tax authority gives me friendly advice not to exercise my rights.

In another article in the same day’s paper there was a story from the Houston Association of Realtors citing their study that showed residential property prices had fallen 15{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} or more in the past year. So let’s think about it…home market values have fallen 15{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} and the tax authority is telling us not to challenge their assessed valuations. Smells like a rat to me.

The bottom line here is that if you own property that is taxed, whether a residence or your business assets, you need to render and protest their values annually. I have attached the appropriate forms to the bottom of this article. Want to learn more ways to save on taxes?