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New Hampshire Property Tax Alert: March 2 is the Deadline to Request a Refund

March 2, 2020 is the deadline to challenge your 2019 real estate taxes.

Please keep in mind the deadline to challenge your 2019 property taxes is March 2, 2020. Normally the deadline to file an application for an abatement is on March 1. However, because March 1 falls on a Sunday in 2020, the deadline is the next business day, Monday, March 2. In order to request a refund you must use the Muncipal Application form, and it must be postmarked by this date in order for the municipality to grant you a refund. For more information on the application process, please visit our New Hampshire Real Estate Tax Primer Blog. The Municipal Application form is available from your local municipality or from the Board of Tax and Land Appeals.

Should you pay your taxes while challenging your assessed value?

New Hampshire does not require a taxpayer to pay his or her taxes to request an abatement; however, paying taxes usually is a good idea because the municipality will assess 8% interest on unpaid taxes while only being obligated to pay 6% on abated taxes. Given today’s interest rate environment, “overpaying” taxes is not a bad deal, assuming an abatement eventually is obtained.

What is the abatement process?

The abatement process is the process of a property owner requesting a refund of property taxes with the local assessor, and if unsuccessful, with the Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) or Superior Court in the county in which the property is located. Generally, in order to be granted a refund, a taxpayer must prove the assessed value is greater than the fair market value of the property adjusted by the general level of assessment.

A taxpayer must file an application for abatement on time and on the Municipal Application form with the local assessors in order for the assessors to consider the abatement request and to preserve the taxpayer’s right of appeal to the BTLA or Superior Court. The local assessors then have until July 1 to act on an abatement application. After receiving a timely Municipal Application form, the local assessor may either (1) deny the application; (2) grant an abatement, including a partial abatement; or (3) take no action on the application. If the assessors take no action on the application, the application is deemed denied on July 1.

A taxpayer may appeal the denial of an abatement or partial abatement after July 1 or the municipality’s denial or partial denial. to the BTLA or the Superior Court by September 1. A filing fee is required for appeal to the BTLA, $65.00, or the Superior Court, $280.

Allobar Strategies provides professional assistance in evaluating the fairness of property tax assessments. If you would like assistance with an evaluation of your property tax, please visit Allobar Strategies or call (603) 333-2211.

By: John F. Hayes, Esq., General Counsel to Allobar Strategies.

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