Paying your Texas property taxes today is easy if you have a check handy and the full amount owed, but there are a number of payment options and agreements you may need to consider. You may even be able to work with property tax reduction consultants to reduce your tax bill if you feel your property has been appraised incorrectly.
What are the Payment Options for Texas Property Taxes?
The local tax collection office in your area will usually offer several payment options that range from credit card payments to escrow agreements. You’ll want to investigate some of these payment options if you’re unable to pay your entire tax bill in one payment by its due date.
Credit Card Payments
The state tax code requires tax collectors to accept credit cards, but you may be charged a processing fee. This fee may be on top of the penalties and interest you already owe, so it’s important to check out whether your tax collector charges an extra fee for using a credit card.
As long as your taxes aren’t delinquent, you may file a deferral application under Tax Code Sections 33.06 or 33.065. Eligible property owners include those who are 65-years-old or older, as well as disabled individuals. Deferrals may also be available when the property has been appraised for more than 105% of the amount from the previous year.
You may enter into an escrow agreement with your taxing unit (the group that sends you your tax bill) to pay your taxes under Tax Code Section 31.072. An escrow account is kept by the tax collector, and the funds sent to this account are used to pay property taxes each time they’re due.
Some property owners may be able to arrange for an installment agreement of four payments that won’t result in penalties and interest.
Some of the Property Owners Who Are Eligible for Installment Agreements Include:
- Disabled individuals & disabled veterans
- Individuals who are 65-years-old or older
- Partially disabled veterans with a home donated by charity
- Property owners with a home damaged by a disaster
- Unmarried children less than 18-years-old
- Unmarried surviving spouses of veterans
- Unmarried surviving spouses of veterans in a home donated by charity
There are several rules guiding installment agreements, and it’s important to speak with a property tax consultant to ensure your installment agreement is submitted in such a way that it will be accepted by your tax collector.
When you make a partial payment, the penalties and fees will only apply to the remaining amount due as of the date the taxes become delinquent. You may wish to make a partial payment to reduce the overall amount of penalties and fees associated with your tax bill.
Another payment agreement splits the tax bill in two where one-half of the taxes are paid by November 30th, and the other half is paid by June 30th. The benefit of this arrangement is that paying the taxes in two installments doesn’t result in any penalties or interest being added to the amount owed.
Some taxpayers may be able to arrange to perform service for the taxing unit as a substitute for paying property taxes. Eligible taxpayers include people who are over 65-years-old, as well as teachers at the junior high or high school level.
In addition to hiring a property tax attorney to file an appeal, you may also be able to reduce your tax bill through early-payment discounts. In some areas, the taxing unit can offer a three, two, or one percent discount on the tax payment when the bill is paid a certain number of months in advance of the due date.
You may need property tax help in Texas if you’re a first-time property owner or if you’ve found that you cannot pay your property taxes. Hegwood Group, LP provides a full range of comprehensive property tax solutions.