Tax problems come in all shapes and sizes. One of the more frequently unaddressed tax issues relates to municipal property taxes. Taxpayers who feel that the assessed value of their property is too high, or that their property has been classified in a way that unfairly raises their tax obligations, can save thousands by filing an appeal with their local municipality.
The process is typically started by filing a formal request to review the property’s assessment with the local municipality. Submissions should outline the nature of the appeal, and include detailed reasons for why the property assessment was incorrect with supporting documentation. It is important to make a strong case when challenging a property assessment. An analysis of the price or classification of comparable properties is usually the best method of substantiating your claim. Just stating ‘this is unfair’ won’t get you anywhere.
After a request for review has been filed, it is then reviewed by the municipality and a decision either confirming or revising the original assessment is issued. Should the request for review be unsuccessful, taxpayers can, in most cases, apply for a hearing with the municipal review board, where they can present their case. This is a fairly complicated process subject to a number of formal procedures which are closely followed. In many cases, a settlement agreement can be reached between the municipality and the taxpayer before the formal hearing. In the event a settlement is not possible, taxpayers must make submissions to an independent tribunal. At this stage, it is important to remember that the tribunal is likely not familiar with the property in question or its particular value. Providing ample evidence of comparables is crucial and if possible supplement comparables with clear photographs outlining the similarities.
The entire process can take up to a year to resolve but at the end, a lower property assessment can save you thousands in property taxes per year. The professionals at Tax Solutions Canada have successfully challenged municipal property assessments and would be happy to have a consultation with you to discuss the merits of your case.
If you believe that the assessed value of your property is incorrect, you have options to appeal. Challenging municipal property tax assessments need to be handled properly in order to have a chance for success.
Tax Solutions Canada can help. Call us today at 1-888-868-1400.