Everyone knows that Cook County's property tax system is complex and confusing. But what most don't know is that it is their right to fight the county over the amount of their tax bill. With knowledge comes power. Watch this short video to learn more about what you can do to reduce your property taxes.
Cook County Property Taxes Too Much? Appeal Your Property's Assessed Value To Lower Your Property Taxes.
Cook County currently has the second highest property taxes in the country! And given Illinois' current financial woes, it is all but certain that property taxes will go up once again. While forcing homeowners to pay for politician's poor financial decisions is just plain unfair, it is not likely that homeowners will get relief in the form of a reduced property tax rate anytime soon.
But, while you cannot lower the county tax rate, it is possible to lower property taxes on your property. You can do so by appealing what is known as your property's "assessed value." The assessed value is determined by the Cook County Assessor's Office, and it is what determines how much you will pay in property taxes. By lowering the assessed value, you lower your property taxes.
To appeal, you have to make sure to not miss your property's filing deadline. There is a 30 day filing period every year per each Township in Cook County. You will not receive notice of this deadline from the County unless your property is up for re-assessment, which only happens every 3 years. To find out this years filing deadline for your property, call our offices today.
Do you need a lawyer to appeal? The Assessor's website states that you do not need a lawyer to appeal. But you also don't need a lawyer to sue someone or to file a divorce. However, unless you have countless hours and days to learn the process, do the research, and gather the evidence, you may not want to file the appeal on your own. A lawyer familiar with the process will ensure that your appeal is proper, timely, and as strong as possible.
To learn more about the appeal process, contact us for a free, no obligation, consultation.
On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed a bill that extended the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act to cover any mortgage debt cancelled through the end of 2014. This is good news for many individuals and families as it will reduce their tax burden for 2014.
As part of short sales and some mortgage modifications, the lender agrees to forgive some of the homeowner’s mortgage debt. Normally, that forgiven debt would be considered “income” for the purposes of federal taxes. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act prevents homeowners who went through a short sale, foreclosure sale or principal reduction from being taxed on the amount of mortgage debt forgiven. The act had previously expired at the end of 2013, but the extension now makes it retroactive through all of 2014.
When preparing your 2014 taxes, you should avoid form tax preparation services and unlicensed tax preparers. Instead, we highly advise you to seek the help of a qualified and licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), as the tax relief provided by the extension is not automatic. Make sure to mention to whomever you choose to assist with your taxes that you had mortgage debt forgiven in 2014, and to verify that the forgiven mortgage debt is listed on your tax schedules.
If you have questions about this or other impacts of your short sale or mortgage modification, give us a call. We will be happy to talk you.
Robson & Lopez LLC
The attorneys at Robson & Lopez LLC focus on consumer protections and property law. The post on this page are designed to be educations in nature and not intended to be legal advice. We cannot guarantee that issues written about here apply to your personal situation. If you would like to talk to an attorney about the specifics of your case, call 312-523-2166.