Pubilc Affairs Officer Donna Psencik discusses how property owners can protest their appraised value online through HCAD's iFile program, and how you may be able to settle your value online without coming to HCAD in person by using the iSettle program. This video will help you find your iFile number, your account number, and navigate your way through an online protest. (4:00 mins.)
Hi, I'm Donna Psencik and I work for the Harris County Appraisal District. You either have or will soon receive a notice of the value HCAD has placed on your home as of January 1st of the current tax year.
Texas law guarantees you the right to protest that value if you think it's incorrect. I’d like to outline for you two programs – iFile and iSettle – that we have in place to help streamline any appeal you choose to make. You can use both of these programs from the comfort of your home or your office.
The notice you receive in the mail has some important numbers. Your account number is prominently displayed on the appraisal notice. On the same notice is your unique iFile number. Both are in the upper right hand corner of the notice. You’ll need both of these numbers if you choose to file a protest online.
The notice shows two values. The market value is what we believe your home was actually worth on January 1st. The appraised value will either be the same as the market value or it may be lower if your value is "capped".
The online protest process begins at our website at www.hcad.org. When you reach the HCAD website just enter your property account number. You’ll then see a “File a Protest” button in the upper left portion of the page where your account information appears.
When you click on this button you will be directed to our new electronic communications and notice site. If you want to go directly to this new site, the address is owners.hcad.org. New users should “Create an Account” and follow the steps to create a unique account with HCAD. Existing users can simply log-in directly to their online account. If you have questions about how to create an account, please watch the video on the log-in page.
Once you are logged in, follow the easy directions to file your protest online. If you want to be considered for iSettle, it is important to check this option on your protest and give an opinion of value for your property as well. Your protest will be immediately verified by email. Then, your data will be reviewed along with other market information by an appraiser, and you’ll be notified by email of a decision on your iSettle protest.
As soon as HCAD notifies you of our decision you will have immediate online access to all of the information including the comparable sales we used in considering your appeal. You can then use that information to decide whether to accept or reject HCAD’s decision. If you’re not satisfied, you’ll be scheduled to make your case at a formal Appraisal Review Board hearing. iFile and iSettle will save you time and, if you succeed in gaining a reduced value on your property, you won’t have to share your tax savings with an outside tax consultant.
If you have any questions about iFile, iSettle or appraisal, please visit our website at www.hcad.org. Thanks for watching!