Avoiding Overly High Property Tax

Buying a house is generally the most expensive purchase most people will make, but be sure you don't pay too much for the house in the first place. A house that is over valued, or over assessed, may cause your property tax bill to be higher than you want to pay. You should consider hiring an attorney when buying a house as part of the investment you're making. An attorney can double-check all the terms and documents to make sure everything is legal and proper in the transaction. Tax issues are also something that attorneys know a lot about, but which most buyers never think about.

A lawyer should be able to catch fraudulent appraisals and other forms of mortgage fraud. Because they weren't willing to spend a few hundred dollars to have an attorney look over the paperwork before they signed, hundreds of home buyers have been victims of mortgage fraud.

Hire an Honest Appraiser

Having an appraiser come in, do a full inspection and give you a report is the best way to find the true value of your property. You have the right to ask for your property tax collection to be reduced if the appraiser's report shows that your property is lower than the assessed value and the fair market value. If you avoid trying to make sure your property tax is accurate, it may cause problems when you try to sell the house. Potential buyers may decide it's a bad deal if the property is over assessed and the property tax is out of line with other properties in the neighborhood.

If you want your property taxes to be fair, then the assessed value and the fair market value should be in a similar range. If the values vary widely, then you may continue over paying the property taxes until you rectify the issue by appealing for a property tax reduction.

You may be eligible for a property tax reduction by applying for a different status on your property tax bill. For example, if you buy a two-family home and convert it into a single-family home, property taxes may be reduced if the conversion does not increase the value of the property. Different tax rates apply to single family and dual family properties. Visiting IRS tax attorneys and filling out the paperwork may be all you need to do to change the classification of the property. Your property will be reassessed once this is accepted by the taxing authority and a different tax rate will be used to determine your new property tax liability.

Hiring an attorney is usually worth it if your property tax appeal is complex or involves a significant amount of money.

  • This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Tax laws in particular change frequently. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. If you need help with a Tax Law Issue please click here to consult with a Tax Lawyer in your area.

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