It is indeed possible to file a tax grievance on your own. You just need to have the capacity to research on the market value of your property, complete your grievance petition and explain your position through a written supporting letter. Having said that, we advise you to engage an expert and let them handle this matter for you. It is not a must that you do this, but based on our own experience, licensed tax grievance representatives are more experienced than homeowners when it comes to grieving taxes effectively. For that reason, the following are five reasons why it is important, in our view, to hire an expert when filing your tax grievance:
1. You only pay when you succeed
When representing you in a tax grievance matter, the majority of firms will charge a fee equivalent to around 40 to 50 percent of the tax savings for the first year. This is a really great deal for you. In case you are unsuccessful, you will not need to pay a single dime, and the representative you retain will be highly motivated to make the most of any savings that you may get. Even when you do not succeed, you will benefit from having a lower assessment for a long time, and all this in return for paying the firm just a percentage of your savings for the first year. There are other companies who may charge a smaller portion of the savings spread over a couple of years, for example, 25 percent of the annual savings for two years which is still a fair deal. However, we do not recommend retaining any company who asks to be paid a fee upfront or demands a fee that is greater than 50 percent of tax savings for one year.
2. Property tax firms are able to determine the market value of your property easily
Determining the market value of your property is the most difficult part when filing a tax grievance. Your real estate agent can assist you to find similar properties, but property tax firms can also access that information plus public records that include property sales that were not placed in various local listings. Furthermore, a firm can give an opinion on whether it is prudent to continue pursuing your tax grievance case because their experience gives them a good understanding of how local boards think and work as they appraise various types of petitions.
3. Property tax firms are accustomed to the Grievance Day hearing
You may want a firm to represent you if you are the type of person who is ill-at-ease with open hearings. While the Grievance Day hearing is not a very scary environment, it might be more comforting to have somebody speaking for you, especially if you have never had such an experience before. A layman may find the entire process confusing and this is why an experienced expert is better qualified to explain your case.
4. Tax grievance cases may be time-consuming
Handling tax grievances can be time-consuming, this is why companies charge a fee for the service. One is required to carry out research, complete the necessary forms, write the letter to support their case before getting ready and appearing for the hearing. While the whole process is doable, you must devote a fair amount of time and effort to it. In case you feel that you cannot complete all the work before the grievance submission deadline, you must engage an expert in order to ensure everything is done properly and promptly
5. In case you are unsuccessful, a property tax grievance company will handle your appeal
Lastly, retaining a tax grievance firm to take care of your tax grievance matter can be beneficial in the event you do not win. This is because a property tax firm has the capacity to deal with any appeals that you might be considering. Because they are already well-acquainted with the facts of your matter, the firm is better placed to represent you before the board during the initial administrative hearing. Most tax grievance companies will layout any court costs and make any necessary court appearances. If in the end, they are unsuccessful, typically you are not charged anything at all.