PT50R Real Estate Return Form

In all of the years past, in order to initiate a real estate tax appeal, in a year where a county didn’t conduct a county wide reappraisal and automatically issue assessment notices, one had to file a real estate return.  The return is known in GA as the PT50R form.  Basically one puts the county where the property is located, on the top of the form, the parcel number and the physical address of the property.  Address changes can be made on this form to notify the mapping department to change the mailing address of the owner if need be.  At the bottom of the page, one would put what the county value was in the prior tax year then one would “return” what value he or she felt like his property ought to be valued at for tax purposes, for the current tax year.  Sometimes the counties would “accept” the return value and issue a “21” day assessment letter where they reduced the value.  If the 21 day letter value still wasn’t acceptable, an appeal letter could then be filed, or it could be accepted and the form or appeal letter had to be back in to the assessor’s office within 21 days.  Or the county would not accept the value and they would issue an assessment notice and then the taxpayer had 30 or 45 days to file an appeal.  For tax year 2011, and from here on out, it is not necessary to file a return.  And unless something sold during tax year 2010, from what i have heard, the assessor’s offices aren’t going to pay attention to these return values and they are just going to send out the notices later this year.  If something did sell last year, then a return would need to be filed to show who the grantor was and who the current grantee is with the correct address.  If anyone has any questions or comments about returns etc., please contact me at info@taxappealatlanta.com.

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When choosing a tax consulting company to represent you, ask who in the company will be “working” your account.

With the combination of the real estate values and the market declining over the past few years, and the in depth research and articles the Atlanta Journal and Constitution has done during this time, there appear to be many new people in the business of appealing property tax assessments.  This business used to be a nitch type thing, where not many people were in it, especially in Atlanta.  The same faces would show up at the various assessor’s offices and boards of equalization throughout metro Atlanta.  But now it seems that everyone from ex residential realtors, ex commercial realtors, appraisers, lawyers and anyone with a pulse, considers himself or herself a “tax rep.”  When shopping for a company to represent you in regards to your property tax appeal, ask the sales person at the tax consulting firm, “who is going to work my account?”  How many years experience does he or she have?  How many appeals has he or she done in their career?  How many properties is he or she responsible for the tax appeal situation on?  Does he or she have an appraiser’s license and a real estate license?  Is the owner of the company going to be working my account?  These are good questions that potential clients need to know the answer to.  Some companies have high overheads and employ many people and are set up to do a large volume of appeals.  Typically they won’t appeal the assessment on a small property because they can’t make any money doing it.  They are set up to appeal the larger assessments, so that the fees generated will keep them afloat. Some companies are small and don’t have a large overhead and can work fewer properties and smaller properties.  Whoever you decide to go with, make sure you speak with the representative in charge of your account and make sure you feel comfortable with him or her and their ability to obtain a reduction.  Experience is definitely the name of the game in this deal.

Information regarding tax year 2011 Fulton, Dekalb and Gwinnett County Assessment Notices.

The word on the street is that Gwinnett County, GA is going to be mailing their commercial assessment notices out around March 15, 2011.  They will then be mailing out their residential assessment notices on March 18, 2011.  Once the property owner receives this notice, he or she will have 45 days in which to file an appeal for 2011.

Dekalb County, GA is supposed to mail out all of their notices, both commercial and residential around May 15.  Again, there will be a 45 day window in which to file an appeal for 2011 if the taxpayer desires to do so.

Fulton County, GA is aiming to have their notices out around the same time as Dekalb County, the middle of May, but chances are that they won’t go out on time as they tend to run behind in everything they do pertaining to assessment notices and tax bills.  But, to be on the safe side, taxpayers should be looking out for their notices in the mid to latter part of May, and then if one wants to file an appeal for this year, there will be 45 days to do so.

If anyone would like professional help with any part or all of the appeal process, please contact me at info@taxappealatlanta.com or call me at 404-218-7874.

It is state law in GA that the taxpayer, or its’ agent, may be present while the board of equalization deliberates and makes its’ decision on the fair market value.

After attending hundreds of appeals throughout the years, nine times out of ten, i’ll know if i was able to convince the board of equalization to adjust the value down for my client.  However, every once in awhile, i’ll do an appeal that i just knew was a “slam dunk” and i’ll receive a notice where the board “upheld,” or “no changed” the assessor’s fair market value, and that is extremely frustrating. 

It’s frustrating because the appeal is over and finished and one can’t go back and ask those members of the board: “Why didn’t you reduce this value?”  “I showed you this, this, this and this and i showed you where the county was weak here on this, this, this and this.”

So, starting two years ago, after every board of equalization hearing i go to, irregardless of what county i am in in GA, i ask that i be allowed to be present while the board deliberates, and that i understand that i can’t communicate or interject anything at that point.  I think it helps the taxpayer to sit in there, to see the thinking and the logic behind the board’s decision.  I am fairly certain one would be shocked to see how little attention actually goes into rendering the decision as to the fair market value on a property.  Also, one would be shocked to see the reasoning and justification behind which way a board will rule on a value.  Sometimes it’s plain sad and sometimes it’s just plain funny, but it is what it is.

So, for the person doing his or her own appeal at the b.o.e, please be sure and tell the board members that you intend to sit there while they deliberate.  This way, one can see exactly what went on during the deliberations.  Typically the board will go ahead and tell what their decision on the value is at this time as well.  Nothing like instant gratification, or instant humiliation, right?