What is a “Notice of Intent to Issue FiFa?”

Property taxes are typically due before the end of the tax year; each county and city has a different deadline. If the taxes on a property are not paid by the deadline, interest and penalties will begin to accrue. The the taxes remain unpaid, the tax collector may send a “Notice of Intent to Issue FiFa” to the owner of the property as of January 1 of the tax year with unpaid taxes.

A FiFa (short for Writ of Fieri Facias) is a claim for an unpaid obligation, in this case, property taxes. In Georgia, unpaid property taxes become a lien against the property and when issued, a FiFa is recorded in the county real estate records.

Georgia law requires the tax collector to send a notice 30 days prior to issuing the FiFa – the “Notice of Intent to Issue FiFa.” If the taxes are not paid within 30 days of the Notice, the tax collector may issue a FiFa against your property. Further, the lien may be transferred to a third party, who adds additional fees to the outstanding taxes, interest, and penalties. Live in Fulton County? Google “Fulton tax commissioner and Investa” for news stories on this process.

How can you avoid a FiFa on your property? Pay your property taxes timely. Even if you have a pending property tax appeal, you must pay the temporary tax bill by the deadline. When your appeal is resolved, the tax collector will reconcile your account based on the new value and either issue a supplemental bill or refund.

What is a temporary tax bill? How much taxes do I pay while my property tax appeal is pending? When you file your appeal, you can select to be billed at 100% of the taxes owed per the new valuation, or a lower amount of taxes (either 85% of the new value, or last year’s valuation, whichever is less). You cannot change this election after the appeal is filed, so it is important to consider the options or discuss this with your appeal representation. When the temporary tax bill is issued at the elected amount, it should be paid timely.

Questions? Call us at 404-507-6388 to discuss your property taxes.

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