Who Are Property Tax Consultants, And What Do They Do? A Complete Guide for Beginners

Tax compliance is an essential process, and lack of it can easily attract time-consuming lawsuits or lead to the closure of business, plus other financial losses. As a result, it pays for every home or business owner to invest in competent tax consultants to help negotiate their cases in the courts, manage taxes, and avoid excessive losses to their businesses.

Who are Tax Consultants, and What Do They Do?

Tax consultants focus on helping businesses and property owners manage tax situations, minimize liabilities, and maximize tax deductions. These are professionals, typically with academic qualifications in accounting or tax law, and have the expertise to offer advice on charitable giving, tax planning, inheritance issues, plus other complex tax requirements.

Property tax consultants help businesses assess their property values and minimize levies. They offer tax management and assessment services to both residential, commercial and industrial property owners.

There are various types of property tax consultants specializing in given fields of consulting. For example, valuation consultants focus on providing value opinions on business properties, while strategy consultants offer strategies to reduce property taxes.

These professionals work by collecting information, preparing files for respective jurisdictions, making clients’ payments, and taking care of appeals and negotiations.

How To Be a Tax Consultants

Most property consultants join their profession with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, real estate, or any other relevant field. Those eyeing higher salaries in this industry may seek experience in a niche related to what their focus clients do. Also, having a significant amount of experience in a tax-related field can be an added advantage.

The Cost of Hire a Property Tax Consultant

Property tax consulting fees vary from one firm or individual to the next. Some professionals take a flat fee for their services, while others bill on a contingency basis. A client working with a professional that charges a flat fee will pay more or less depending on the scope of the case and the consultant’s level of experience. These flat-rate professionals sometimes charge on an hourly basis, weekly, or bi-weekly.

On the other hand, contingency-based consultants charge based on the percentage of gains they help the business acquire, especially after a tax appeal. For instance, they may agree on a 30% rate. In this case, the client pays nothing upfront, and whether they’ll part with any money at the end depends on whether the patient goes through or not. If they win the appeal and reduce property tax by, let’s say, $20,000, and the property tax rate is 5%, that translates to a $1,000 savings on the property.

That way, the property tax-compliant will get 30% of the savings, which is $300.

How to Hire a Competent Property Tax Consultant

Property tax consulting isn’t an easy task, and not every professional or firm parading themselves as experts will deliver. Thus, it’s imperative to be extra careful when hiring tax consultants to see that they work with nothing but the best. Here are some points to consider and get the best out of the whole process.

Work with Referrals

The best way to know that a firm will deliver is when their previous clients vouch for them. Instead of interviewing and hiring the first expert that appears on sight, it pays to seek directions from friends, family, and other clients who have worked with the firm and seen their services.

Independent online dating websites come in handy if there are no friends, family, or close people to ask. The aspiring clients can visit sites like Angie’s List, Google Reviews, or Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see unbiased testimonials and ratings from other customers who worked with the firm previously.

Ensure the Tax Consultant is Registered

The beauty of working with a registered entity is that clients will get a place to run to if they suffer any injustice in the hands of their consultant. Thus, it pays to ensure that the firm has state registration and authority to operate in the location of the business.

They can get in touch with the local assessor to verify the firm’s registration details.

Agree on Payment Terms

No individual wants hiccups during the negotiation or appraisal process. As such, the businesses can work on ironing every matter upfront and start smoothly. Agreeing on whether the consultant will charge flat rates or contingency fees and ensuring that they’re all comfortable with the arrangements will reduce friction during or after the contract.

Hiring a property tax consultant isn’t a complicated task, but it requires a high level of professionalism. Thus, every business should ensure that they work with a professional capable of respecting their needs and dedicated to serving their best interests.

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