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Payment of Residential and Commercial Property Taxes in Texas

April 19, 2009


Property Tax Payment

Taxing units usually mail their tax bills in October. The date of delinquency is normally February 1st.  If you have not received your tax bill by January 1st, you should contact your tax assessor to determine the amount owed. 

Property tax bills often include more than one taxing jurisdiction because some taxing jurisdictions combine their collection operations.  Likewise, certain properties will be subject to multiple taxing jurisdictions collected by different assessors.  Contact the central appraisal district for your respective county to determine the taxing jurisdictions which apply to your property.  Many county central appraisal districts now post their property tax data online. 

If you escrow taxes and insurance, then your mortgage company will pay the property taxes on your home.  You should receive a receipt from the tax assessor indicating payment has been made.  The receipt is important to retain, as many homeowners deduct property taxes for federal income tax purposes.

When Is the Deadline for Payment?

In most cases, the deadline for paying your property taxes is January 31. Taxes that remain unpaid on February 1 are considered delinquent. Penalty and interest charges are added to the original amount.

Taxes are due in one lump sum.  Some tax collection offices provide payment options, such as:

  •  Payment by credit card, typically with additional fees of 3{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} to 5{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}
  •  Deferment or installment plans for taxes on homestead properties for disabled property owners or property owners over 65 years of age
  •  Discounts for early payment
  •  Partial payment of your taxes

If you are qualified for the over-65 or disabled homestead exemptions, you may pay your current taxes on your home in four installments. You must pay at least one-fourth of your taxes before the February 1 delinquency date. The remaining payments are due before April 1, June 1 and August 1, without any penalty or interest. If you miss an installment payment, you will face a penalty and also pay interest at 1 percent for each month of delinquency. You must indicate on your first payment that you are paying your home taxes in installments. Installment payments apply to all taxing units on the tax bill.

Homeowners whose residences are damaged in a disaster and are located in a designated disaster area also may pay their taxes in four installments, in the same months as over-65 or disabled homeowners.

What If my Taxes are Delinquent?

The longer you allow your delinquent property taxes to go unpaid, the more expensive and risky it becomes for you.

  • Penalty and interest charges will be added to your taxes.
    Penalty charges and interest charges will be added to your tax balance.  Private attorneys hired by taxing units to collect delinquent accounts can charge an additional penalty to cover their fees.  The following table details the potential penalties, interest, and attorney charges imposed on a delinquent property tax account.

Month Penalties & Interest
February        7{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}
March            9{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}
April              11{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}
May              13{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}
June             15{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}
July               32{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} to 37{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}*

*Collection Attorney Fees Vary by County, but are typically 15{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} to 20{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}.

Accounts not paid in full by June 30th of the year in which they become delinquent are normally referred to the delinquent tax attorneys for collection and incur an additional penalty equal to 15{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} – 20{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} of the total taxes, penalties and interest due.  Generally, any payment on the quarterly payment plan that is not paid before the delinquency date of the installment accrues a full penalty of 6{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} immediately, and begins to accrue interest at the rate of 1{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} per month until paid.

  • You will receive delinquent tax notices.
    The tax collector will send you at least one notice that your taxes are delinquent. They often send multiple notices and warnings.
  • You may have the option to set up an installment plan.
    Some tax collectors will allow you to pay delinquent taxes in installments for up to 36 months. They are not required to offer this option.
  • You may be sued.
    The tax collector can take a delinquent taxpayer to court. All court costs will be added to the delinquent tax bill.
  • Your property may be foreclosed upon.  You could lose your property! 
    Each taxing unit holds a tax lien on each item of taxable property. A tax lien automatically attaches to property on January 1 each year to secure payment of all taxes. This tax lien gives the courts the power to foreclose on the lien and seize the property. The property then will be auctioned and the proceeds used to pay the taxes.

 Are there other options available to pay property taxes?

 Yes, specialized lenders exist who focus solely on property tax lending.  These lenders provide an alternative to the lump sum payment of your property taxes.  A property tax loan will immediately stop the added penalties, interest, attorney fees, and pending lawsuits for the county.  Most lenders offer flexible loan terms with repayment schedules up to 10 years.  Loans are available for almost any type of real estate as long as the borrower is not in bankruptcy, there is no IRS lien on the property, and the property is reasonably maintained. This includes residential, commercial, investment properties, and vacant land. 

 To learn more about property tax loans and the lending programs available visit Property Tax Funding, https://www.propertytaxfunding.com/, or call a loan officer at 877-776-7391.