If you’re like most Texans, you want to pay the least amount of property tax possible. Luckily, protesting your property tax is a free and easy process! In this guide, we will walk through how to protest your property taxes in Texas. Once you finish your protest, you could save thousands of dollars on your annual tax bill! Let’s get started!
What is a Property Tax? How is it Calculated in Texas?
Each appraisal district levies property taxes in Texas. They use the appraised value of your home to calculate how much tax you owe every year. If you believe they valued your home incorrectly, you can file a protest with the appraisal district.
When protesting your property taxes, it’s important to remember that you are not challenging the amount of taxes owed but rather the appraised value of your home. The appraised value determines how much tax you owe, so if you can lower your appraised value, you will automatically pay less in property taxes!
How to Protest Your Property Taxes in Texas for Free
There are two ways to protest your property taxes in Texas for free: online or in person. We recommend filing your protest online, as it is the easiest and most convenient way.
To file an online protest, you will need to create an account with the appraisal district. For Houston, the appraisal district is hcad.org. Once you have created an account, you can log in and view your property information. If you believe your appraisal district valued your home incorrectly, you can submit a formal protest through the online portal.
If you file your protest in person, you will need to visit the appraisal district office during business hours. You will likely need to complete a physical form and submit it to a staff member. They may also ask you for additional documentation or information about your property.
The Process of the Protest
Once you have filed your protest, the appraisers will review your case and make a value determination. If they agree that they valued your home incorrectly, they will lower the appraised value of your home. A lower appraisal value will result in a lower property tax bill for you!
Benefits of Protesting Your Property Taxes in Texas
You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your annual tax bill by protesting your property taxes! Additionally, the process is free and easy to do. We recommend that all homeowners in Texas protest their property taxes yearly to ensure they do not overpay!
FAQs About Protesting Your Property Taxes
Can I file a protest late?
Yes, you can file an exemption at any time during the year and up to 2 years after if you miss the deadlines to file. However, tax protests have a deadline each year, usually in May.
What if I disagree with the appraisers?
If you disagree with the appraisers, you have the right to appeal their decision. You will need to file an appeal within 30 days of receiving their determination.
Can I claim any tax exemptions if I protest my value in the same year?
Yes, you can still claim any tax exemptions you qualify for if you protest your value in the same year.
A homestead exemption exempts all or part of your home’s value from taxation, which can save you money on your property taxes. To apply for a homestead exemption in Harris County, Texas, you’ll need to fill out and submit the following forms:
You can find these forms on the Harris County Appraisal District website. Once you’ve submitted the documents, you should receive your homestead exemption within 30 days.
How long does the protest process take?
The process of protesting your property taxes usually takes about 30 days. However, it may take longer if you appeal the appraiser’s decision.
Do I need an attorney to change the owner’s name listed on a deed?
In Harris county, “When you purchase property… you should always submit form 25.25(b)RP, “Request to Correct Name or Address on a Real Property Account,” and include documentation for evidence of title, such as a copy of the recorded deed, signed closing settlement statement or probated will.” (1)
An experienced real estate attorney can answer additional questions and change an existing deed obtained through probate or other methods of transferring ownership.
Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney to Protest My Property Taxes?
There is no requirement that you have an attorney to protest your property taxes in Texas. However, we recommend you consult with an experienced real estate attorney in your county if you have any questions or need assistance with the process.
A tax protest hearing is much like a courtroom in that you present your evidence before a panel, and witnesses may testify. An attorney can help you prepare your case and represent you at the hearing.
What if I have more questions?
If you have more questions about how to protest your property taxes in Texas, we recommend contacting an experienced real estate attorney in your county. They will be able to help you with any specific questions and also handle any protest hearings or paperwork.
Why Not File a Property Tax Protest?
The bottom line is that protesting your property taxes in Texas is a great way to save money on your annual tax bill! It’s easy to do and free, so there’s no reason not to!
If you have any questions about how to protest your property taxes, we recommend contacting an experienced real estate attorney in your county. They will be able to help you with any specific questions that you may have.
We Can Help
If you have any questions about how to protest your property taxes in Texas, feel free to reach out to us at The Jarrett Law Firm for a consultation. We’ve successfully represented many individuals in hearings and would be happy to help you reduce your yearly property taxes too!
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