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Scams in Property Taxes: Please Take a Note

  Sanjiv Gupta CPA  Published 
Scams in Property Taxes: Please Take a Note

Everyone wants their property taxes reduced. In an attempt to reduce taxes many people fall prey to tax scammers. To be safe from these scammers the taxpayers need to be careful about the following things:

  • Many times you may receive letters that look like they are from government offices but in reality, they are usually from the private companies trying to fool you into giving them money.
  • Homeowners should also stay clear from any company that offers to file an assessment challenge in return for an upfront fee.
  • Homeowners should also avoid any kind of services that requires a copy of the property deed or the social security number.

Many of you must have received letters that claim to get your property assessment done for a fee that can be as nominal as a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars. But in reality, these companies just take your money and fill out a property assessment form which you can do yourself without any charge. And in some cases, these companies just take the money and do nothing at all.

While the government agencies send out their forms sometime in June these scammers send their form much early. In some of the states if the value of the house has gone down from the previously assessed value then the property taxes are automatically reduced. So the scammers usually target those homeowners who are hoping for a reduction in taxes. These companies send their forms or letters earlier than the government agencies and claim that they will reduce the taxes. Many homeowners pay a considerable amount to them and in June their taxes are reduced. What the homeowners fail to realize is that their taxes were naturally supposed to go down and the company has not actually done anything.

But if you are actually looking for one such company to handle your property taxes then it is better that you avoid any company that proposes to do your work for an upfront fee or your property deed or social security number. It is also better to keep away from companies that claim that they are affiliated with government agencies.