All About Abatement - Tax Professionals Member Article By KLSM CPA Firm PLLC
Posted by KLSM CPA Firm PLLC

All About Abatement

All About Abatement

An abatement is simply a deduction/reduction or, in some cases, an exemption in the taxation level allocated to an individual or organization. Some examples of abatement include; a decrease in tax, reduction in penalties and so on. In a case where an individual or organization pays more than they are meant to pay or get an overestimated tax bill, a reduction can be requested from the tax authorities.

Abatement is one of the taxation strategies utilized by various jurisdictions to encourage investment activities. One of the examples of abatement is a tax incentive.


How do Abatements work?

Abatement is used recurrently in real estate. Several cities have property tax programs that exempt or decrease property tax deposits on a property (home) for a very long time and even decades. The primary aim of such programs is to attract buyers to geographical areas with fewer demands, such as places still undergoing constructive measures.


Are there Benefits of Tax Abatements?

The Government of states often taxes abatement to individuals or businesses that give back value to the community. For example, the Government of a city can provide an abatement to a business in return for a significant investment in some major city developments, like a new factory, retail location and so on.

Such development can increase the need for labor, thereby tackling the problem of unemployment in that city.

Also, suppose the Government of a city wants to develop a specific area. In that case, they can give tax abatement to the housing development in those areas, attracting people to build in such areas leading to balanced city growth.


Eligibility for Abatement 

There is no fixed list for eligibility for tax abatement. And that's because eligibility varies for different cities and states. Some Governments may ask you to submit an application form with several other guidelines.

While there is no specific guideline, there are certain things one can look out for that may help eligibility for abatement.

Usually, tax abatement often goes to low and middle-income individuals and families who are often affected by property taxes. For high-income earners, the chances of getting a tax abatement are low compared to the low and middle-income earners.

If you don't fall in the category above, you can decide to earn your tax abatement in some cities. This can be done by renovating or making structural improvements to the property before requesting a tax abatement for the property. However, this can consume so much time and money.


The Downside of Tax Abatements

The desire for a tax abatement can make families and individuals move into rural or less desirable locations. So as much as abatements seem attractive, you may not be so happy with where you have to relocate to qualify for abatement. Specific considerations like crime rate, good schools, and good local government may not be so favorable in some areas. 

Also, you may need to move into homes that are eligible at specific times, and this may be a problem if your original intention to move is before or after the specified date.

Not only that, abatements are not permanent; they often run out. When it runs out, your bills may rise, leading to so much shock. So it's best to make suitable investments and save up for seasons when the tax abatement will expire.

Lastly, you are only eligible for the abatement on the value of renovations that you made on a property and not the whole property itself. Meaning you will have to pay taxes on the home's value before you add renovations.


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