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Tax Appeal Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is intended to assist taxpayers in understanding their rights and responsibilities regarding tax appeals made to the Connecticut Tax Court. It is intended to provide public information only, and is not intended to provide anyone with legal advice.
  1. When is the deadline for filing a tax appeal?
  2. How do I file a tax appeal?
  3. What is the procedure for scheduling cases for pre-trial?
  4. What is the procedure for scheduling cases for trial?
  5. When are cases scheduled for trial?
  6. Who selects the trial dates?
  7. What can I do if I cannot attend the trial on the date scheduled?
  8. What is the procedure for scheduling and deciding short calendar matters?

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1. When is the deadline for filing a tax appeal?

The time allowed for filing a tax appeal depends upon the type of tax that is being contested. A properly-served appeal from an order, decision, determination or disallowance of the Commissioner of Revenue Services must be filed with the superior court for the Judicial District of New Britain within one month after notice of such order, decision, determination or disallowance is mailed to or served upon the taxpayer. Notice from the Commissioner of Revenue Services may be in the form of a letter or other type of service. It is important for the taxpayer to determine when the notice from the Commissioner was mailed for this may be the starting date of the appeal period.

Real estate property tax appeals under General Statutes § 12-117a (where the taxpayer is contesting only the valuation of the property) must be filed within two months from the date that notice is mailed of the action taken by the board of tax review or the board of assessment appeals. Appeals brought under General Statutes § 12-117a must be filed with the superior court for the judicial district where the municipality is located. Property tax appeals may be transferred to the Tax Court at the request of the presiding judge or administrative judge of the judicial district where the appeal is filed.

Real estate property tax appeals under General Statutes § 12-119 (where the taxpayer is claiming the property was illegally assessed) must be filed within one year from the date that the property was last evaluated for tax purposes. Appeals brought under General Statutes § 12-119 must be filed with the superior court for the judicial district where the municipality is located. Property tax appeals may be transferred to the Tax Court at the request of the presiding judge or administrative judge of the judicial district where the appeal is filed.

Appeals of personal property tax assessments may be taken pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a or General Statutes § 12-119.

Appeals from an assessor’s valuation of a motor vehicle may be taken pursuant to § 12-117a or § 12-119.

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2. How do I file a tax appeal?

With a few exceptions, all civil case types, including tax appeals, are now e-filable. Beginning December 5, 2009, e-filing of all civil case types, including tax appeals, will be mandatory for attorneys and firms without an exclusion from electronic services requirements, with certain exceptions. More information on E-Services or e-filing.

In order to institute an appeal with the Tax Court, the following must be filed:

  • $350.00 filing fee as of Monday, July 2, 2012.
  • Complaint/Appeal. The complaint or appeal must be signed, certified and returnable to the New Britain Judicial District.* The return date must be a Tuesday at least fifteen (15) days after filing.
  • Citation and Recognizance. The recognizance must state name of the surety recognized to prosecute in the amount of $250.00. Please note that a pro se plaintiff (a plaintiff representing himself or herself without the aid of an attorney) must pay his or her own recognizance bond, cash only, at the civil clerk’s office before serving and filing the tax appeal with the court.
  • Statement of the amount in demand.
  • Marshal’s return of service. The marshal’s return must state that a true and attested copy of the original complaint/appeal, citation, recognizance and statement of amount in demand was served upon an agent for the defendant municipality or Commissioner of Revenue Services.

Examples of the above documents can be found at Guide to Property Tax Appeals - PDF.

The taxpayer may file his or her own tax appeal without the representation of an attorney. However, since an attorney is schooled in the practice of law and rules of procedure, a taxpayer should consider the importance of retaining an attorney to bring the tax appeal. If a taxpayer desires to represent himself or herself, guidelines in state Law Libraries are available as an aid.

*As stated above, municipal property tax appeals must be filed with the superior court for the judicial district where the municipality is located.

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3. What is the procedure for scheduling cases for pre-trial?

The Tax Court will schedule a pre-trial as soon as an appearance has been filed on behalf of the defendant. You do not need to request that a pre-trial be scheduled. A judicial notice will be sent to the parties informing them of the date and time of the pre-trial, as well as the standing orders. If the date is inconvenient, or if there will be difficulty complying with the standing orders, you should contact the Tax Court immediately.

4. What is the procedure for scheduling cases for trial?

If a settlement is not reached at the pre-trial conference, the parties will be required to select a trial date at that time. However, the judge or special master conducting the pre-trial may require the parties to return for an additional pre-trial if he or she believes it will be productive.

5. When are cases scheduled for trial?

The Tax Court generally has open dates available for trial 4-5 months in the future.

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6. Who selects the trial dates?

The parties will confer with a member of the Tax Court staff in an attempt to select a date amenable both to them and the court.

7. What can I do if I cannot attend the trial on the date scheduled?

The trial date assigned is a date certain. If you cannot attend trial on the date scheduled, you must file a motion for continuance with the Tax Court stating the reason that you are unable to attend. If possible, you should attempt to obtain consent from the opposing party and select an alternate date on which the parties can attend. Please note, however, that obtaining consent does not guarantee that your motion for continuance will be granted.

8. What is the procedure for scheduling and deciding short calendar matters?

Motions are automatically placed on the short calendar upon filing with the Tax Court. You will receive notice in the mail informing you of the date that the motion will be considered and whether argument will be necessary. If you cannot attend argument on the scheduled date you should contact the Tax Court immediately in order to reschedule. It is not necessary to file a claim/reclaim form in order to have a matter placed on the short calendar. Any pleading/memoranda regarding the motion must be filed at least five days before the short calendar date.

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