Property tax is a legal obligation which homeowners have to comply with. How can you reduce your property tax burden?
Taxes are a common burden for consumers in South Africa. The tax system in South Africa is designed to cover diverse consumer groups and income brackets. When it comes to property, property tax is an obligation which homeowners have to comply with. Some of the prevalent taxes in the property market include transfer duty which is a one-off real estate tax payable at the time of property purchase. Non-resident property owners in South Africa are also liable for income tax when letting out their properties. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) applies only to the sale of fixed property. Here are some ways in which you can lower your property tax burden.
Structural changes to a home or property will increase your tax bill. A deck, a pool, a large shed, or any other permanent fixture that is added to your home is presumed to increase its value. With this in mind, homeowners should investigate how much a new addition might cost in terms of property tax prior to construction.
Many individuals allow the tax assessor to wander about their homes unguided during the evaluation process. Some assessors will only see the good points in the home overlooking the negative details around the property. To prevent this from happening, be sure to walk the home with the assessor and point out the good points as well as the deficiencies. This will ensure that you receive the fairest possible valuation for your home.
Assessors often compare your home to those of your neighbours and others in the locality. The more attractive your home appears, the more property taxes you may end up paying. This is the disadvantage of your home looking nicer than the partially-painted, unmowed house that belongs to your neighbour. If an assessor is coming through, it is not the best time for you to make your home more attractive and noticeable.
Assessors are human beings and subject to error. As a home owner, it’s your responsibility to look for errors, such as an incorrect number of bathrooms or inflated lot size. If you can’t find a glaring mistake but believe your home is still being over-assessed, check out the property assessments of similar homes in your neighborhood to see how their assessments compare with yours.
The guidelines provided above should assist you to reduce your property tax burden.