Real Estate Law – Legal Issues When You File Property Taxes Laws and Issues

Property taxes can be a burden, particularly if your budget is stretched. Furthermore, the amount of property tax that you are required to pay often depends upon the location in which you live, as each local area sets its own rates of property tax.

This means that if you are in an area that traditionally sets high rates of property tax, you are obviously going to end up paying more than you would in some other areas of the country.

Besides this basic concern, there are also a number of other legal issues that you need to be aware of whenever you file your taxes.

You Need to Account For Administration

The property tax system is extremely complex, with most local governments being granted the ability to adjust the rate of tax they charge depending on their need. This means that you always need to keep an eye on the latest rates to ensure that you are paying the required amount.

Part of the reason for this adjustments is that the government needs to maintain a team of people who carry out administrative duties, such as determining when an extension has been built on a property and how it affects the levels of tax paid. Simply put, don’t always assume that the rates from last year are the same this year.

You Can File Appeals

If you believe that the amount of property tax you are scheduled to pay is far higher than you should be for the property that you own, you are allowed to file a complaint with your local government requesting a lower assessment of the value of the property.

This can be particularly useful if external factors have affected the value of the home, or the local property market is in a slump. You should always speak to a lawyer when considering this option, as you need to provide plenty of proof that you shouldn’t be paying the level of tax asked for based on your home. Furthermore, such assessments drive up the administrative costs that the government faces, which can have the indirect effect of driving up rates for everybody in the community, including yourself, in the next year.

Be Wary Of Home Improvements

It is often argued that high rates of property tax play a large part on discouraging home improvement, and it is something that you need to consider when you are thinking about building a new extension or doing some renovation work. The odds are high that you will need to pay a higher rate of property tax as a result of the work done, so make sure you consult with an expert before you go ahead and are aware of the implications and that you have the budget to cover the higher taxes as well as the work.

Remember that a higher assessment of your property means a higher rate of tax to pay. This has the unfortunate effect of discouraging people from making home improvements, but in the current system it is still an important consideration.