Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

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beserker
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:50 pm

Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by beserker » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:00 pm

I helped my parents fill out their annual tax relief, but surprisingly, this year this was denied. Only explanation was that their net asset exceeded the limit, which is not true. Granted it was close, but it was still a couple of grand under the limit. There was no further explanation, simply they can try again next year.

Earlier, county had requested Dec. 31, 2019 statement on a CD account, which my parents had explained it matured earlier that year and is now disbursed into other accounts as stated in the application. So I don't know what to do. I am going to try to send them a mail asking for further explanation, but it might not work. In that case, shall we try the county supervisor? Or just bite the bullet and have them pay the 6k?

HomeStretch
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Re: Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:08 pm

Denial letters in general sometimes contain information on “the appeal process”. Does your parents’ notice contain that information? If not, their town’s website or Tax Assessor’s office should be able to provide the information.

Topic Author
beserker
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:50 pm

Re: Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by beserker » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:42 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:08 pm
Denial letters in general sometimes contain information on “the appeal process”. Does your parents’ notice contain that information? If not, their town’s website or Tax Assessor’s office should be able to provide the information.
Thanks, but there was no appeal process, but I called the county tax division listed online to confront how they can deny the application without justification. It turns out they counted that CD, which had matured earlier last year, as an additional asset, which does not make sense because the copy we sent them indicated it was disbursed to the checking/savings account. :oops: I guess they were hoping we would just give up and pay. Ugh...

Katietsu
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Re: Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by Katietsu » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:03 pm

So, they made a mistake. I do not think anyone did it intentionally. I would try kindness coupled with perservance. I am much more likely to help someone fix a problem if they are understanding towards me.

I can tell you are frustrated. But if you were to “confront” me in a professional setting because you thought I had done something “without justification”, I really would not feel enthusiastic about helping you.

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galawdawg
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Location: Georgia

Re: Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by galawdawg » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:36 am

I'd recommend your first step be to familiarize yourself with whatever statutes or regulations govern the tax relief your parents applied for. It sounds as though it is financial need based relief. In doing so, you need to be sure to find out what date is used to calculate income/assets. It may be the date of application or some other fixed date (like December 31 of each year). The applicable statutes or regulations should also govern how any appeal is handled, if there is an appeal process available.

Here is a link to look up state codes: https://www.lexisnexis.com/ap/academic/ ... _state.asp

If you still believe after this review that your parents are eligible for relief, I agree with others that you may wish to help your parents make a courteous request (in writing) to the county tax authorities to reconsider their decision. They should include copies of any documentation that supports their position. For example, they may need to send a bank statement from the CD account showing a zero balance on or before December 31, 2019 or a letter from the bank confirming that the CD matured and was closed on or before that date with a zero balance.

Be sure however that they do not miss any filing deadline for any appeal if an appeal is available to them. Also be cautious that in assisting your parents you don't inadvertently engage in the unauthorized practice of law (such as attempting to represent your parents in a judicial or quasi-judicial hearing or preparing and filing pleadings on their behalf).

Since it appears the amount at issue is $6,000 (annually?), it may be worth spending some money for a consultation with a trusted attorney who is qualified to handle these types of matters in your parent's locality. Again, don't delay as there may be filing deadlines that your parents won't want to miss.

IANYL. Good luck.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:57 am

I've lived in several jurisdictions and have served in govt. Unfortunately, it really depends on where you live as to how responsive they are. If the taxing authority is elected/constitutional officer, they are subject to less review than a taxing authority that falls under general govt. In either case, however, I would appeal to the manager of the dept. and then to whomever heads the office/dept. I'd ask for their direct contact information - it may be online. If they refuse that, you may under your freedom of information act for your state request that; find out who their FOYI officer is, they hate that, its a lot of work with specific deadlines specified in law. If all else fails, you can either contact the jurisdiction's manager (for example, county manager). For myself, there was a mixup in my escrow account and I was charged a late fee, I contacted the dept.'s manager and she waived it; also many of these systems now have a place to put "notes" so always be polite as frustrating as it can be.

Its difficult to understand that there is no appeal process. You might google the jurisdiction's name and put in tax appeal and see what you come up with.

pshonore
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Re: Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by pshonore » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:14 am

So CDs get counted as assets but not checking accounts/brokerage accounts? As an example, In most places in CT assets get counted along with income for elderly tax relief. YMMV.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Anyway to appeal denial of real estate tax relief?

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:49 pm

beserker wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:42 pm
HomeStretch wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:08 pm
Denial letters in general sometimes contain information on “the appeal process”. Does your parents’ notice contain that information? If not, their town’s website or Tax Assessor’s office should be able to provide the information.
Thanks, but there was no appeal process, but I called the county tax division listed online to confront how they can deny the application without justification. It turns out they counted that CD, which had matured earlier last year, as an additional asset, which does not make sense because the copy we sent them indicated it was disbursed to the checking/savings account. :oops: I guess they were hoping we would just give up and pay. Ugh...
If you are saying that they made the error of counting the same money twice...then you have a reason to pursue it.

If you are saying that the same money in a CD counts differently than in a checking account...then probably not.

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