If you own any commercial, residential, multi-residential or industrial property in Ontario, then property taxes no doubt comprise a huge chunk of the expenses you incur on that property. Unfortunately, it is possible for the property assessors to make an error in their valuation, over-value your property and ultimately increase your property taxes. However, if you are not in agreement with the assessment, you can file an appeal.
If your property is in Ontario, MPAC is the body that is responsible for valuating that property. Some of the factors that assessors consider when determining the value of your property include lot dimensions, the location and age of the property, as well as the quality of the construction and the living area. However, if you are not happy with the Ontario property tax assessment you received, you can appeal the assessment. Since the appeal processes can be lengthy and complex, you should consider involving the expertise of property tax consultants. The appeal process usually involves the following key steps:
- Filing the Request for Reconsideration
If you feel that the Property Assessment Notice you received from MPAC does not reflect the actual value of that property and the corresponding tax obligations, you are always at liberty to contest the assessment. You have up to 120 days from the day the notice is issued to file your Request for Reconsideration and this is usually indicated in the notice. You can do this by submitting your request on MPAC’s website. On the form, you should indicate reasons for disputing the assessment and include supporting documentation.
- MPAC’s Response
Once they have received your request, MPAC will review it and send you a letter indicating the results within 180 days or less. However, if it is a complex scenario, they might ask for more time in order to reconsider the property assessment and complete their review. After the assessment they may either approve a reassessment or disapprove it, providing reasons to substantiate their decision.
- Filing an Appeal at the Assessment Review Board
If you are not satisfied with their decision, you can still appeal at the Assessment Review Board within 90 days after the decision has been made. This is an adjudicative tribunal that is mandated to hear appeals concerning property assessments, classification and taxes. Here, the board will listen to your appeal and assess the evidence you have presented to them. In addition, MPAC will also try to prove the accuracy of their assessment in comparison with similar properties in the vicinity. The review board will then make their decision based on the evidence presented and the applicable laws.
To help you navigate this complex process and increase the chances of success in your property tax assessment appeal, you should consider hiring a seasoned property tax consultant. Such experts understand different aspects of the law concerning taxation and are well-versed with the Ontario property tax assessment process. They have also dealt with a range of Ontario property tax appeals, so they will help you build a strong case and can represent you before the concerned bodies.