The One New Year’s Resolution to Keep – Appeal Your N.H. Property Tax Bill by March 1
This is the time of year where everyone makes New Year’s resolutions that they are bound to break. Health club membership sales increase, and it is difficult to find an open machine because everyone makes an attempt at keeping their New Year’s resolution to be healthier in the new year. Inevitably as time passes, the number of people frequenting gyms finds its equilibrium as those who were swept up in the tradition of making resolutions realize they are not ready to commit to a life-style change and break their resolutions.
If you own real estate in New Hampshire, there is one resolution that you should make and keep every year is to appeal your local property taxes by March 1. Whether you own commercial property or simply own a home, property taxes represent a significant expense in owning this type of property. For homeowners, property taxes are the second largest expense behind the mortgage over the life of the property. For many people, the most valuable asset they own is their home. As a house is more than a place to live: It is an investment, and you should treat it as such and do whatever is cost-effective to maximize your return on your investment. One of the most cost-effective ways to maximize the return on an investment in a house is to appeal the property tax bill by March 1.
Many people file for and receive a federal income tax refund almost every year. If there is one tax law that most people know, it is that if you don’t file for a refund of your income taxes, you will not receive one. The same holds true for refunds of property taxes. If you do not file for a refund of your property taxes by March 1, you will not receive one. While you may not receive a refund of your property taxes every year that you file, the years that you do receive a refund may more than make up for the years that you do not receive a refund.
Many commercial property owners file for refunds of their property taxes every year because they know it is important part of maximizing the returns on their investments. While you should base any appeal on some evidence that you have that the assessment is incorrect, the most significant mistake in an assessment may not be discovered until after March 1, so if you have not filed for a refund by March 1, you are out of luck for that tax year.
While the process to request a refund in New Hampshire is arcane and unfamiliar to most people, for homeowners, it just got a lot easier. RETaxRefund.com has developed two tools that make it easier to file for a refund of property taxes. The first is a Free Tax Estimate Tool that lets homeowners estimate the amount they can receive from filing a request for a refund. By entering your address and current assessed value and some basic information about your property it will estimate your potential savings for the current tax year. The second tool is the Municipal Tax Refund Package that if you purchase it, it will fill out the refund form for your signature and provide evidence to support your application so that you can file it with your town or city by March 1 in order to be eligible to receive a refund. No life-style needed to keep this resolution, only the commitment to follow-through and file for that N.H. property tax refund.
By: John F. Hayes, LLM, General Counsel to Allobar Strategies and former general counsel to the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration. For more information on how to exercise your right to request a refund of your property taxes, please visit Allobar Strategies.