Everything You Need to Know about Protesting Your Commercial Property Taxes in Texas

April 24, 2018

protesting-commercial-property-taxes-texas

With the federal tax deadline behind us, you might be thinking you’re done with tax deadlines for a while. But if you own commercial property, you’re not quite in the clear. You’ve likely already received your notice of appraised value from your county, but have you filed your commercial property tax protest yet? The deadline to file a protest is fast approaching, and with so many different tax deadlines to keep up with, it’s easy to forget one.

Don’t let this be the one you forget, as it could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. If that’s not something you’re prepared to shell out, it’s time to gear up for a commercial property tax protest. Here’s everything you need to know:

Why file a protest?

For commercial property owners, the stakes are high. This year, commercial landlords are seeing an overall average tax increase of 23%. Depending on the size of your property, just one year of taxes could run you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s money you could use to expand your product line, hire more employees, or beef up your marketing strategies – all things that can boost your profits and bring in more clientele.

If you’ve got more than one commercial property on your hands, protesting your property taxes is even more vital. In today’s market of highly inflated valuations, you’re likely overpaying on one or even all properties in your portfolio. Protesting your property taxes helps ensure that you don’t pay more tax than necessary, and saves you and your business money.

How often should I file a property tax protest?

In order to obtain the best possible outcome and accrue the most savings, it is imperative that a property owner protest his or her property taxes every single year. The practice of protesting your property taxes year after year stops the appraised value of your property from soaring. Even if you do not achieve a significant reduction, by protesting your appraised value and going on record as being dissatisfied with your evaluation, you have strengthened your case for the following year and increased the likelihood of minimizing your tax burden in the future.

A successful property tax protest can have long lasting benefits, producing savings for several years. In order to reduce the risk of being over assessed and over taxed, as well as increase the chances of having a successful protest, property owners should protest their property taxes each and every year. 

Property Tax Timeline

With so many different tax deadlines throughout the year, it’s easy to forget or lose track of all the ones that apply to you. You probably have the federal tax filing deadline of April 15th ingrained in your head, but are you aware of the important dates when it comes to property taxes? Check out the list below to be sure you don’t miss a payment date or your chance to lower your property taxes.

  • January 31- Property tax payments are due to your local appraisal district.
  • February 1-  Property tax payments are officially late.
  • April 1- Notices of Appraised Value will come out, letting you know what the appraised value of your properties is.
  • May 15- This is the deadline to file a property tax protest.
  • October 1- Property tax statements are mailed out to all property owners. This statement will tell you your property’s assessed value, as well as how much you owe in taxes on it.
If you think your commercial property taxes are too high, they probably are. The competitive commercial market has led to over-inflated valuations, and it’s costing property owners like you thousands of hard-earned dollars every year. If you’re not prepared to hand over thousands more in property taxes next year and aren’t sure where to start, then get in touch with Five Stone Tax Advisers today. They have decades of property tax experience and can help you lower your commercial property tax burden. Feel confident that you can handle the protest on your own? That’s fine too! Just remember, whether you use a consultant or protest yourself, you should protest your property taxes every single year.

Mark Puzdrak

CPA

Mark Puzdrak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 13 years of professional experience helping small to medium-sized businesses with their tax and accounting needs including individual, corporate, and partnership income tax returns along with business and individual tax planning. Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and Pennsylvania. He earned both of his bachelor of arts degrees in accounting and finance from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Mark is committed to delivering tax and planning services that meet each client's unique objectives with a focus on services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as clients in the Real Estate, Manufacturing, Entertainment, and Professional Services industries. Mark lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Kelly. He enjoys reading biographies, visiting small Texas towns, and the occasional scotch and cigar.
Read more articles from Mark Puzdrak

Guide to Business Borrowing

Learn what banks are looking for when they prepare to make loans. Our guide covers what business owners need to know when they prepare to borrow.

BBoT-COVER-GeneralBorrowing

Download eBook