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This very basic guide to filing a petition is intended as a supplement to the statutes and regulations governing the appeals process. A taxpayer has the right to challenge their property assessment. The taxpayer must also bear the responsibility of complying with the statutory requirements of filing proper petitions in a timely manner that is attached to that right to challenge. Williams Industries v. State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs, 648 N.E.2d 713, 718 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1995).
If, after receiving the Notice of Final Assessment Determination [Form 115] or Notice of Action on Exemption Application [Form 120], a taxpayer disagrees with the determination of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (“PTABOA”) the taxpayer can appeal to the Indiana Board of Tax Review (“Board”). In certain specific situations a direct appeal to the Board may be available – see *Note below.
When to File
The taxpayer must file either the Form 131 [for assessment appeals] or the Form 132 [for exemption appeals] not later than 45 days after notification of the PTABOA determination [Form 115 or Form 120].
Where to File
The taxpayer files the Form 131 and Form 132 directly with the Board at its central office:
Indiana Board of Tax Review
100 N. Senate Avenue, Room N-1026
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The taxpayer must also mail a copy of the petition to the county assessor where the property is located. Section V of both the Form 131 and Form 132 is the Certificate of Service. The taxpayer must complete this section verifying that a copy of the petition was mailed to the county. Failure to provide a copy of the petition to the county assessor and/or complete Section V will result in the petition being defective.
The taxpayer must file a separate petition for each parcel unless the Board determines otherwise.
Attachments to the Petition
Form 131 petition – the taxpayer must attach a copy of the written request used to initiate the appeal before the PTABOA [or Form 130 petition] and a copy of the Notification of Final Assessment Determination [Form 115].
Form 132 petition – the taxpayer must attach a copy of the Application for Exemption [Form 136] and a copy of the Notice of Action on Exemption Application [Form 120].
Completing the Petition
The taxpayer must complete all sections of the petition. Section I is basic information about the property being appealed and the petitioner.
Section II of the Form 131 petition is the small claims option. The taxpayer should review the small claims rules and determine whether or not to accept small claims. The small claims rules can be found in the Indiana Administrative Code at 52 IAC 2 and 3. The rules can be accessed from the Board’s website at http://www.in.gov/ibtr/ under Rules and Regulations.
Section II of the Form 132 petition is action of the PTABOA. This information comes directly from the Notification of Action on Exemption Application [Form 120] issued by the PTABOA.
Section III of the petition is the Grounds for Appeal. The taxpayer is required to explain in detail the basis for his belief that the assessment or action of the PTABOA is incorrect. The taxpayer must provide specific reasons for his belief. The taxpayer is not required to submit any evidence with the petition. The taxpayer must, however, present specific evidence supporting his beliefs at the hearing.
Section IV is the signature section. The taxpayer or his representative must sign the petition certifying that the entries are accurate.
Section V is the certificate of service. The statute requires the taxpayer mail a copy of the petition to the county assessor where the property is located. By completing this section the taxpayer swears that he mailed or provided a copy of the petition to the county assessor. Failure to provide a copy of the petition to the county assessor and/or complete Section V of the petition will result in the petition being defective.
The petition contains a checklist to assist the taxpayer in competing the petition and making sure all attachments are included. Please make use of the checklist on page 3 of the petition.
Failure to Follow Instructions
If a taxpayer does not comply with the instructions for completing the petition, the Board will return the petition to the taxpayer with a description of the defect. The taxpayer will have 30 days to correctly complete the petition and resubmit it to the Board. If the resubmitted petition does not comply with the instructions for completing the form, the Board may deny the petition.
Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15 Procedures for Review and Appeal of Assessment and Correction of Errors
52 IAC 1 Tax Representatives
52 IAC 2 Procedural Rules
52 IAC 3 Small Claims Procedures
The Board’s website at http://www.in.gov/ibtr/
Preparing for the hearing
Once the taxpayer has filed his petition, he should begin preparing for the hearing by labeling all exhibits and making copies for the Board and opposing party. See Small Claims Hearing Instructions and Identification of Exhibits on the Board’s website at http://www.in.gov/ibtr/ under Guide to Appeals. Please note that materials submitted at the PTABOA hearing will not be made a part of the Board’s record unless submitted to the Board at the hearing.
*Note: Direct Appeal to the Board
A direct appeal to the Board is available only to a taxpayer who filed his written request appealing to the PTABOA after June 30, 2007. If the PTABOA fails to hold a hearing within 180 days and/or fails to issue a determination within 120 days of its hearing, a taxpayer need not wait for the PTABOA to issue a determination; he may appeal directly to the Board.