TruTax has compiled this list of Frequently-asked questions for your convenience. In the unlikely event your question is not listed below, please click below to email your question to us. We may even add it to the list!
A. The assessment is the value placed on your home by the town, but differs from the market value. Your assessment multiplied by the RAR or residential assessment ratio, should give you your town’s estimate of your homes market value. If you believe your home is worth less than the town does, then you should file a grievance.
A. A tax grievance is a formal process of protesting your property’s assessment. It is done by preparing an application (FORM RP-524) and submitting it to your town office by the appointed day, complete with supporting evidence to prove your case. It also generally refers to the process of filing a SCAR (Small Claims Assessment Review) with the SCAR Division of the NYS Supreme court to appeal the decision of the Board of Assessor’s Review.
A: TruTax is licensed by the Suffolk County Dept. Of Consumer Affairs to represent homeowners in grieving their property taxes. We help you save money on your property taxes by filing a grievance on your behalf and proving an unequal assessment of property taxes on your home, if such is the case. Many times, a grievance is denied at the Board of Assessment review level and a SCAR (Small Claims Assessment Review) is filed on our client’s behalf. Trutax handles the entire process for you, from beginning to end, all with absolutely no risk on your part.
A. TruTax is one of the only companies that uses licensed appraisers to perform certified appraisals of your home. This is important, because a licensed appraiser gives a legal opinion of value. This is subject to industry rules and regulations and carries much more weight than a mere comparable home analysis, which is performed by most other companies , using administrative personnel or unlicensed staff. Even when they SAY they are doing an appraisal and CHARGE for an appraisal, many times they are not providing a true appraisal. That’s why we give you a copy of the actual appraisal used in preparing your case. (via email, upon request). The proof is in the pudding…
If TruTax determines that you property taxes are accurate based on your homes’ value, we will not accept your case and the contract will be canceled, with no further obligation to either party. If we believe you have a case, we will prepare all paperwork, submit the grievance, file an appeal if needed, lay out all fees and handle the whole process for you from beginning to end. We believe so strongly in our service, that we do not charge a penny upfront and take all the risk ourselves. This means that you can be assured that you will not have to pay one cent if we do not win a reduction for you.
A. TruTax charges 50% of the SAVINGS for the first year only, (all future year savings are yours!) Plus the $30.00 filing fee if applicable and the cost of the certified appraisal which is $75.00, only if we win a reduction for you and only based on the first year’s savings. If we do not win a reduction for you, you pay nothing. Zip, Zilch, Nada.
A. Simple: Click the link to sign our no-risk AGREEMENT.PDF and we’ll check out your situation. The simple answer is that it’s always worth it for you to file a grievance, because it costs you nothing and there is no risk to you if you can’t get a reduction!
A. Assuming you are not an appraiser, a vague notion of your property value is not enough to determine your assessment. Let us review your property. If we think you are over-assessed, we back it up with an appraisal (which you receive via email upon request) and follow through with the complete process. Your taxes can NEVER be raised simply because you filed a grievance.
A. NO. No one from the town assessor’s office or TruTax will come to your home if you file a grievance. This is a common misconception. Don’t let this myth cost you a reduction you may deserve.
A.No. Your application will only result in either a successful reduction of your property taxes, or a denial of a reduction. Your taxes will not go up simply because you filed a grievance.
A. NO. TruTax files all paperwork, pays all fees, attends all meetings, hearings and conferences and handles the entire process from beginning to end. Unlike attorneys or real estate brokers, our time is not divided among several activities. Your tax grievance is our only business.
A. The process is long and complex. It can take from many months to a year or more. Sometimes a decision is rendered in time to reduce your second-half bill, but more often, any discount is reflected on future bills and a refund is sent to cover any retroactive reductions in the current year tax bill.
A. YES! Home prices have been on the decline and there is every chance that you are being over-assessed again. Why not find out each year? It costs you nothing and there is no risk.
A. Yes. We are talking about the assessed value of your home. Not your exemptions. Whether you win a reduction or not, all your current exemptions continue as before.
A. NO. Just as you would not hire more than one real estate broker to list your house for sale, you can’t have more than one representative trying to lower your property taxes. It creates confusion, delays and if either one wins a reduction, you would be obligated to pay twice for the same reduction. Bad Idea!
A. Absolutely. No representative is required to file a grievance. Just as you can repair your own automobile, program your own computer, you can file your own grievance. However, the process is long and complex, and many people find that it is just better and easier to let a licensed, qualified company, which specializes in the field to handle their grievance. It makes sense, it saves time and often, provides a better result.
A. Grievances are for the current tax year only. Any previous taxes already paid are not recoverable. The new assessment is valid for this and future tax years. That’s another reason it makes sense to file a grievance now with TruTax. The sooner you reduce your taxes, the more you can save over the long haul.
A. NO. The process is labor and time intensive. Start now to avoid delays and allow time for the work to be done properly. Last year, we had to turn away homeowners who waited until the last minute to sign up with us. It just takes time to order the appraisal, prepare the paperwork and submit the file to the town before grievance day. If you miss the deadline, you have to wait a whole year to try again and any savings you might have won for this year will be lost.
A. YES. TruTax is happy to work out a convenient payment schedule with you. We always take the longterm view and work with our clients to develop relationships that stand the test of time.
A. Once we win a reduction for you, your assessment is reduced by the corresponding amount shown on the decision from the Board of Assessment Review or the NYS Supreme Court, SCAR Division. However, that doesn’t prevent your town from raising the overall ratio or multiplier for your area. So while your property taxes might be the same or even a bit higher, they would have been MUCH higher had you not won the reduction! Good thing you filed!
A. NYS Law Says “Only: 1. a person named in the records of Suffolk County Clerk as a homeowner; or 2. that person’s authorized agent; or 3. a person who has contracted to buy the home; or 4. the estate of a deceased homeowner, is eligible under law to receive a tax assessment reduction and a property tax refund. If you are not in any of these four categories, you will not be able to receive a property tax refund and you should not sign this agreement.”
A. NO. Once you contract with us, we follow through with the process from beginning to end. You are obligated to pay our fee after a successful reduction application. Most people simply have the buyer sign over responsibility to the contract, which we are happy to accept, to relieve themselves from this responsibility. You simply have to remember to let the new buyer and TruTax know of this situation.
A. YES. If you are in contract to purchase a home, you have the right to grieve the property taxes on the house and can appoint TruTax to represent you.
A. NO. You can only grieve the property taxes on the home you live in. Non-owner occupied homes are not eligible and an application should not be filed for them.
A. That depends, If you win a reduction at the Board of Assessment Review level, then yes, but if you win on appeal at the SCAR level, you have to skip one year in order to file again.
A. YES. See example – Click HERE
A.We accept payment with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Wire Transfer, Paypal, Check, Money Order, Etc. We also work out payment plans for our clients when needed.