Ann Harris Bennett
Tax Assessor-Collector
How To Protest Your Property Appraisal
Protest deadlines:

For homestead properties, the early protest deadline is April 30th or 30 days after the date the appraisal district sends a notice of appraised value, whichever is later. If a homeowner misses the new early deadline, the regular protest deadline (May 15) applies. In the case of other real property (land and buildings), the protest deadline is May 15. A later protest deadline may apply if HCAD mails your notice of appraised value after May 1. The May 15 deadline also applies to business and industrial personal property accounts. In all cases where there is a later protest deadline, the date will be printed on the notice of appraised value.

iFile online protest filings:

All property taxpayers have the option to logon to iFile at for the quickest and most convenient way to file a protest. Value notices have two unique numbers printed on the upper, right-hand side of each notice. One is the property account number, and the other is an iFile code number, unique to that particular property for this year only. Be sure to fill in the correct tax year. After filling out the online form and clicking on a “Submit My Protest” button, you will receive an e-mail acknowledgement indicating that the protest has been received and is awaiting scheduling. When your scheduling notice is sent, you will again be able to use the iFile system to review specific evidence HCAD has regarding your property’s value.

iSettle for homeowners:

Use of the iSettle (Homeowners' online settlement system) is encouraged by the Harris Central Appraisal District. In the iSettle system, homeowners file their protest online, and provide an opinion of the market value of their homestead. HCAD will propose an iSettle value, and if the homeowner accepts that value, the protest process is complete. If the homeowner rejects the iSettle value, the homeowner is scheduled to go directly to an ARB protest hearing.

Written Protest Filings:

A protest form is included with the taxpayer’s notice of appraised value. Should you choose to file in person or by mail, HCAD has protest forms and the form explains the protest process. HCAD has protest forms available at its office or online. However, it is not necessary to use an official form. Property Tax Notice of Protest forms are available:

A notice of protest must include:

Step 1: Completing the Protest Form
Step 2: Do Your Homework
Step 3: Important Documents to Bring to your Hearing

Bring four (4) copies of the following items to your appointment for a hearing:

Step 4: Exemptions

Ensure that you have taken all exemptions to which you qualify or are legally entitled:

What To Expect At Your Hearing

Once you file your written protest or your Property Tax Notice of Protest form, your hearing will normally be scheduled a few weeks thereafter. The appraisal review board will send you a notice with the time, date and place of the hearing. Also listed on the notice will be an appointment, generally one week before the hearing, for you to meet with an HCAD appraiser to discuss your case. Attendance at the appointment to meet with an HCAD appraiser is optional; many cases are resolved in such meetings. Be sure to attend your scheduled hearing; HCAD is reluctant to reschedule your hearing without sufficient cause. It is important to bring your notice of appointment to your first hearing.

Informal Meeting With An Appraiser

Your first meeting will be with a staff appraiser who will review your evidence and the district’s evidence in detail. The appraiser has the authority to settle the protest if the appraiser believes the evidence is sufficient to do so. If a settlement is not agreed upon, a hearing before an Appraisal Review Board (ARB) will be scheduled.

Hearing with Appraisal Review Board Panel

The law requires that you and the HCAD appraiser provide each other with copies of each other’s written evidence to be introduced before the ARB panel. Be sure to have three additional copies of your materials for each of the three ARB panel members. Panel hearings are informal. You should indicate to the panel at the start of the hearing if an unequal appraisal is at issue. The ARB’s panel will ask the HCAD appraiser to first present the district’s evidence supporting its appraised value. Once the HCAD appraiser has finished, you will be allowed to ask questions and to present your evidence. The ARB will also have the opportunity to ask questions needed to clarify any matters when you complete your presentation. Most hearings are allotted 15 minutes. It is very important to prepare a simple, well-organized presentation. At the conclusion of the hearing, the ARB panel will determine if your property was over-appraised. The final decision of the ARB is issued in writing and will be mailed to you via certified mail. If you do not agree with the decision of the ARB, you have the right to appeal the decision to State District Court within sixty (60) days of receiving the written order. If the property is valued at $1 million or less or is a residence homestead, you have the option of appealing through binding arbitration rather than appeal to district court. For property valued at more than $1 million, owners have the option to appeal to a state administrative law judge in a new pilot program administered by the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Information about the appropriate option will be included with your appraisal review board order.

For additional information on protesting your property taxes from the State Comptroller go to