Tips on Reducing Property Taxes

Tax Act

It’s bad enough when you have to pay taxes at the department store, grocery store or on your personal income, but it can be extremely frustrating having to pay taxes on a property that you own, and not only that, but having to do it each and every year. Those taxes can easily reach into the thousands of dollars or more and can put a severe strain on your personal finances. However, there may be several ways to lower the property tax amount that you are paying; ways that if aren’t taken advantage of, could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce property taxes each year, here are a few tips that could gain you substantial savings.

Exemptions

Property tax exemptions may be one of the easiest and most significant ways in which to save money on your property taxes. By way of senior, homestead or homeowner, or military exemptions, you could realize extensive reductions upon your property tax bill.

In order to find out what exemptions you might be eligible for, as well as their terms and conditions, you will likely need to visit your country assessor’s office either online or in person since the ways in which exemptions are determined and applied will likely vary from state to state and even county to county. Your eligibility may also depend upon how long you’ve lived in the property for which you are applying for exemption status.

Reassessment

Depending upon when your property was last assessed and the potential change in value it has experienced since that time, it could be worth your while to request a reassessment from your assessor’s office. If you feel that your property has seen a significant decrease in value, a reassessment might substantially lower your property tax bill. However, it is important to bear in mind that a reassessment can be a double-edged sword. If an assessor finds that the value of your property has actually increased, such a move could backfire and result in higher taxes, so it is important to do your research and conduct your due diligence before requesting such a re-evaluation.

Tax Deduction

Another way to realize significant savings on your property taxes is by ensuring that you are taking advantage of your of tax deduction on your federal taxes. Since mortgage interest and property tax payments may be eligible as a deduction on federal income taxes each year, this is yet another way in which to get at least a portion of your tax money back. Similar to property tax exemptions, the amount for which you are eligible for a tax deduction for a particular tax year may depend upon how many days you have actually resided at the property. This could be an important consideration for those who have just moved into or away from a property.

Conclusion

Ways to save on property taxes and the amounts involved can range significantly depending upon your geographic location as well as your personal situation. It may therefore be important to consult your particular county assessor’s office or a tax professional to learn exactly what savings you may be eligible to receive.

Anastacio Mindiola is an accomplished attorney and business owner. His company helps home and business owners protest property taxes in Houston and the surrounding counties. For more information on how you can lower your property taxes visit http://www.republicpropertytax.com.

Affected by the housing crisis?

Tax Act

If you are one of the millions affected by the housing crisis, and last year managed to get your home sold to another buyer in a pre-foreclosure or short sale, then I have some good news and some bad news. If the amount that the sale was short of the mortgage debt was forgiven by your lender, as commonly happens, and you walked away from the house owing nothing, then the bad news is that the canceled debt which was forgiven is viewed as ordinary income by the IRS. It does not matter that you never saw any money, … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Tax Act

If you are one of the millions affected by the housing crisis, and last year managed to get your home sold to another buyer in a pre-foreclosure or short sale, then I have some good news and some bad news. If the amount that the sale was short of the mortgage debt was forgiven by your lender, as commonly happens, and you walked away from the house owing nothing, then the bad news is that the canceled debt which was forgiven is viewed as ordinary income by the IRS. It does not matter that you never saw any money, the IRS still view it as a cash benefit, or income, to your finances.

Now the good news. Because this has happened to so many people, and the IRS feels your pain, they have changed the rules. The income is not taxed if house was your principal residence, and not just an investment property. This exclusion applies to property sold from 2006 up to 2013, and is subject to a maximum of $2 million for a couple or $1 million if you file separately. You can read all about the details of this in IRS Publication 523, which you can find at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p523.pdf.