Standards for electronic real property tax administration
Electronic filing of complaints for administrative review of assessments
Under section 104 of the Real Property Tax Law, an assessing unit that wishes to authorize the electronic filing of complaints for the administrative review of real property assessments must comply with the standards listed below. The assessing unit must authorize the e-filing of complaints by local law, ordinance, or resolution, and must publish instructions for e-filing complaints by a method reasonably calculated to reach complainants. The municipal attorneys should be consulted when establishing a method or methods for e-filing.
Pursuant to the Department’s authority under RPTL § 104(1)(b), the following standards are hereby established for the electronic filing of complaints for administrative review of assessments:
- Assessing units may opt to allow the electronic filing of complaints by local law, ordinance, or resolution, as authorized by RPTL § 104(3)(b).
- Assessing units that opt to allow the electronic filing of complaints must publish instructions for filing such a complaint by a method reasonably calculated to reach complainants who wish to e-file.
- Assessing units that opt to allow the electronic filing of complaints may accept electronically filed complaints directly via email or other electronic method established by the assessing unit, or indirectly via a vendor or contractor hired by the assessing unit for such purpose.
- Any person aggrieved by an assessment (e.g., an owner, purchaser or tenant who is required to pay the taxes pursuant to a lease or written agreement) may electronically file a complaint (RP-524) if their property is located within an assessing unit that has opted to accept e-filing. Property owners may e-file a complaint themselves or an authorized representative or attorney may e-file a complaint on behalf of the property owner. If a complaint is being e-filed by a representative or attorney, it must include a fully completed power of attorney or designation of representative or the e-filed complaint may be rejected.
- Questions contained on an e-filed complaint, or used to generate an e-filed complaint, must be substantially similar to the questions contained on the RP-524. Instructions for e-filing complaints must be substantially similar to the instructions for the RP-524.
- A separate complaint must be e-filed for each individual parcel unless the assessor, in his or her discretion, agrees in writing that a single complaint will be accepted for certain contiguous parcels identified in writing by the assessor.
- By choosing to e-file, complainants consent to receive correspondence related to their complaint, as well as the determination of the BAR, via email or other electronic method established by the assessing unit.
- Complainants are strongly encouraged to e-file documents in advance of the filing deadline. User problems such as problems with a user's telephone lines, internet service provider, hardware, or software, problems in understanding or following the e-filing instructions, or rejection of a document because it contains a virus will not excuse an untimely filing. A complainant who cannot e-file a document because of any of these user problems must file conventionally and timely. An assessing unit’s inability to receive a document via its e-filing system due to a technical failure will not excuse an untimely filing unless the assessing unit acknowledges the technical failure in writing and agrees in writing to an extension of time.