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Indiana - No Time Limit on Tax Error Claims
This Century

by Morgan Thomas, Chicago, February 2014

 

Indiana property owners, who feel they overpaid their taxes due to auditor errors anytime since the year 2000, can appeal to have the mistakes corrected following a decision by the Indiana Tax Court.

 

Background

 

In 1989, Indiana imposed a three-year limit on the correction of "hard errors" in tax assessments such as:

 

  • Clerical mistakes

  • Buildings torn down but still assessed

  • Incorrect land or building size, and

  • Exemptions not properly applied

 

The regulation was repealed in 2000 and never replaced by the Indiana Legislature.

 

Tax Court Ruling

 

Judge Martha Blood Wentworth ruled in January that any petition to correct a post-2000 error in property tax payments, credits, or deductions must be considered timely filed since no statutory or regulatory time limitation exists after April 1, 2000.

 

The ruling does not apply to market value issues, which are a separate appeal process.

 

Who Benefits?

 

The benefit could be lucrative for any property owner who discovers a hard error on their assessment dating back to 2000. Reviewing property assessment records for errors is an important step in any tax management process.

 

This opportunity is not expected to last long. Judge Wentworth writes in her decision, "The court ardently urges the General Assembly or Department of Local Government Finance to act with all haste to provide security against stale claims arising under Indiana Code ยง 6-1.1-15-12" (the error correction statute).