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Tax Bills & Delinquent Taxes

Texas property tax penalties for late payment are high and it is difficult to obtain a waiver. Texas taxpayers need to track and study carefully the tax bills that are owed for every properties they own. The statute offers minimal discretion for late payments if an mistake is made by the assessment district or the tax agency leading to late payment. Many tax agencies, however, are reluctant to waive the fines and interest, although they have made obvious mistakes. The easiest way to escape fines is to pay in good time Texas property taxes. The Texas Comptroller has prepared this document and it is available for your convenience.

Tax Bills: Q&A

Most frequent questions and answers

When do taxing units mail tax bills?

Taxing units usually mail their bills around Oct. 1.

What is the latest date for paying taxes without penalty and interest?

The payment deadline is January 31. The tax collector will add the penalty and interest charges to taxes that are not paid on Feb. 1. In rare cases, a taxpayer may have a delinquency date later than 1 February – check with your tax office.

May I pay only part of the taxes due?

State law allows tax collectors, at their option, to authorize tax collectors to pay one-half of the tax on the taxpayer by Nov. 30 and the remainder by June 30 without paying any penalty or interest. Not all taxing units are offering this option.

Tax collectors may also choose to collect partial payments, credit card payments or escrow payments. Such payments do not prevent any penalty or interest on unpaid portions.

What is the penalty and interest rate?

If taxes are delinquent, the tax collector will add 6 percent of the penalty and 1 per cent of the interest in February. Penalty continues to accrue at 1 % per month until July 1. On July 1, the penalty is 12%. Interest continues to accrue at 1 % per month until it is paid. For example, on July 1, unpaid taxes would amount to a total penalty of 18 per cent and interest (12 per cent penalty and 6 per cent interest). A penalty of up to 20% for attorneys ‘ fees may also be added to this amount by a taxing unit.

But I have a limited income because I am disabled or elderly. Is there a special payment plan for people aged 65 or older or disabled?

A homeowner who is eligible for an exemption from the age of 65 or disabled may pay current taxes on his or her home in four installments. The person must pay at least one-fourth of the tax before Feb. 1. With this payment, the homeowner indicates that taxes are paid in installments. The remaining payments are due before 1 April 1 June and 1 August – without any penalty or interest. If the person fails to pay the installment, a 6 per cent penalty and interest (at 1 per cent for each month of the offender) will be added to the installment amount.

Can the taxing unit waive the penalty and interest on delinquent taxes?

State law requires the governing body of the taxing unit to waive the penalty and may waive the interest on the delinquent tax if the taxing unit or its agent has caused the taxes of the owner to be delinquent. The owner of the property must pay the tax no later than the 21st day after he or she has known or should have known the crime. The owner of the property must apply for a waiver before the 181st day (six months) after the delinquency in order to receive a refund of the penalty and interest.

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