Pre-Roll Consultation Key to Ensuring Accurate Property Tax

September 22, 2020

Pre-Roll Consultation Key to Ensuring Accurate Property Tax

Synopsis
2 Minute Read

Find out how a pre-roll consultation allows you to correct market and site-specific issues before your 2020 property assessment is finalized.

Giovanni Worsley
Giovanni Worsley
Partner, Property Tax Services

2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges and experiences for businesses across Canada. Forced closures, Wage subsidy programs, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) applications, and new social distancing measures have led to many adjustments and uncertainty for property owners. The need to lower operating costs is more important than ever. 

One step within your control is ensuring you pay only the appropriate amount of property tax each year. Alberta operates on an annual assessment cycle. For the 2021 tax year, it will be crucial assessment values are reviewed for accuracy to ensure they represent market conditions as of July 1, 2020. Many Albertans receive their property tax assessment and accept it without having it reviewed. However, you do have the option of reviewing the assessment - This doesn't have to be the case - MNP property tax services is here to assist you through the assessment process.

Assessment reviews begin in October with the pre-roll consultation period. This is offered in many municipalities where assessors provide an opportunity to begin discussions around the proposed assessment values for the upcoming cycle. The pre-roll consultation allows property tax specialists to start a review process early and have additional pro-active discussions with the assessors to reduce the overall tax burden of your property. Pre-roll consultation allows you to correct market and site-specific issues before the 2021 assessment mailout of January 14.

How it Works

Municipalities begin accepting online authorizations for the 2021 Pre-Roll and Assessment year in September. The deadline to sign-up your consultant for pre-roll is typically mid October for Calgary and Edmonton. However, to participate in pre-roll discussions, property owners must be compliant with any requests for information which have been issued from the municipality.

Once requirements have been met, your property tax advisor can assist in reviewing the assessment and ensure your property has been valued correctly. In the event the assessment seems to be inaccurate, the consultant will work with the city's assessment department to resolve any issues, providing them with market evidence and property-specific information. Issues resolved during pre-roll will result in tax savings before you receive your tax bill.

Benefits

Pre-roll consultation provides added certainty for next year's assessments, allowing property owners, managers and tenants to better budget for 2021 tax liabilities. Identifying and resolving issues during pre-roll can also avoid the need for an appeal. Tax savings are immediate and are reflected on the property tax bill.

Appeals typically take a long time to resolve, often running past the tax bill due date. This results in property owners paying the full property tax amount and receiving a credit upon conclusion of the appeal.

What You Need

To represent your properties, the property tax consultant will require the following information:

  • 2020 Assessment notice
  • Authorization to act on your behalf. This will ensure your property tax advisor receives the preliminary 2021 assessment values and supporting assessment information in time for discussions.

At the conclusion of the pre-roll consultation period, your advisor will provide you a summary of results and any recommendations of further appeal.

The Bottom Line

Don't just accept your property assessment, especially if you feel like it's too high. Pre-roll consultation can identify assessment issues early, so you don't have to pay more tax than necessary, plus gives you accurate information to plan for the future.

For more information, contact Giovanni Worsley, Property Tax Services, at 403.263.3385 or [email protected]

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