How can a tax agent take advantage of a taxpayer?
The property tax world can be a complicated nightmare for many multifamily property owners in Texas. There are just so many variables and factors that need to be considered following a fair valuation of a property that it can be painfully confusing. Often, even the most diligent owners are ignorant of most of these factors and require guidance to navigate the appeal system. Some tax agents take advantage of this (reasonable!) ignorance and seek to twist it to their advantage. They will make promises they never intend to keep, blame others for their poor performance, and treat clients like a number while charging high rates. This is not fair to the taxpayer and should not be accepted as the status quo.
How to identify when you’re being taken advantage of by your agent
The good news here is that it’s fairly simple to spot the bad agents in these scenarios when you take a closer look. They usually are radio silent until they need something from you, and they typically avoid responsibility for most issues. If you want to test your agent, ask how your portfolio looks this tax year, or simply ask them when was the last time they saw your properties they represent. If it wasn’t at least within the past 12 months, there is a good chance you are being treated as just a number by your tax agent, and it may be time to make a switch. The same can be said if you never hear from your agent, or it takes them an unreasonable amount of time to get back to you. You pay them to help you through this process; they need to be available to you. Paying a premium for a service is great so long as you are also getting premium value in return.
What to do if you are being taken advantage of?
Leave your tax agent! Why would you settle for being insignificant to a person or group that you depend on for guidance and help? These properties are important to you, and they should be important to your agent as well. I promise you there are agents out there that will treat your properties as if they were their own. If you notice the described red-flag attitudes in your tax agent, make the switch.