How To File For A Retroactive CA Property Tax Refund

You may need to learn how to file for a retroactive CA property tax refund in this tough economy. The best way to go about this is to check with your county government. Every county is different and has different allowable exemptions. These exemptions can be taken if you are over 55 years of age, are or become disabled, or have a tremendous decline in property values. CA homeowners have suffered tremendously due to declining home values and Proposition 8 allows for a reduction of property taxes if your home value has declined significantly. The best thing to do is evaluate how much your home has declined in value and determine if it is in your best interest to have the property values reevaluated. Luckily, there is help out there and lots of exemptions are available to home owners in California. If you have not been taking advantage of these exemptions, you will need to file for a retroactive refund. Every county is different, but the general idea is the same.

  1. First collect all of your property tax information for the previous years. 
  2. Visit a real estate site that offers free comparable home prices. Zillow has a great service and lists the values of homes in your area. Figure out whether your house is being charged the appropriate amount. You may not have an exact figure, but you can get a good idea as to whether you should pursue filing for an exemption.
  3. After determining whether you can file for exemptions, visit your local tax assessor’s office to turn in documentation and ask if your county allows for retroactive refunds. This will vary from county to county, but most should have a way to file for retroactive refunds. This is especially true since your taxes are usually assessed from the previous years and there might be an overlap. The best thing to do is check with your county tax assessor’s office and ask for a new appraisal.



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