What Is Property Tax Delinquency?
Property tax delinquency occurs when you don’t pay your property tax bill on time. For Texas, that due date is January 31st, no matter what. If you don’t pay by that date, you’re delinquent as of February 1st. The exact amount that you owe is based on the assessed value of your property, determined by your county’s tax assessor. Even if you receive a letter notifying you of your delinquency, keep in mind that it’s not too late to get help. For more helpful terms, take a look at the property tax delinquency glossary we have available.
Why Would You Be Late on Paying Property Taxes?
A wide range of factors could contribute to property tax delinquency. Sometimes it’s as simple as not having your finances in order — one incorrect calculation could lead you to think you have more money saved up for paying taxes than you do in reality. However, more often than not, it’s just because life happens. A sudden need for emergency funds might sap away your savings. This could be due to:
- Home or vehicle repairs
- Medical bills
- Business expenses
- Family emergencies
These are all things that may require immediate payment, and that doesn’t mean you’re bad with money. However, these factors also won’t keep the tax collector away. You might need extra assistance when the time comes.
When Do You Enter Property Tax Delinquency?
As we said, if you didn’t pay your Texas property tax bill by January 31st, you’re delinquent. Here are some dates to keep in mind:
- January 1st: The county tax assessor begins the appraisal process, which ends on April 30th.
- October 1st: Property owners begin receiving tax bill letters.
Then, the following year:
- January 10th: If you did not receive a tax bill letter by this date, your local taxing authority did not make the 21-day window to give you enough time to meet the deadline, which may allow you to extend your due date.
- January 31st: All property taxes are due.
- February 1st: If you didn’t pay, you’re in property tax delinquency, and interest fees and penalties start to accrue.
- July 1st: An extra tax collecting fee hits if you still haven’t paid.
While it’s good to remember these important dates, you should also bear in mind that all hope is never lost.
What Happens During Property Tax Delinquency?
Once you’re in delinquency, the following things will occur:
- You’ll start to accrue interest and penalties on top of what you already owe.
- A tax lien will be placed on your property, meaning the taxing authority has a claim against it.
- If you haven’t covered your fees or removed the tax lien, the foreclosure process will begin, allowing your property to be sold.
How High Can Property Tax Delinquency Penalties Get?
As soon as you’re delinquent, you’re facing a 7% penalty on the amount owed. If you still don’t pay, the rate goes up another 2% on the first of every month. To see how steep it can get, check out our property tax penalty chart. By July, that extra 20% collection fee kicks in (on top of the 2% increase for that month). All told, within one year, you’re looking at 47.6% in penalties. But with all the help available to you, there’s no need to let it get that high.
What Are Your Options If You’re Delinquent on Paying Your Property Taxes?
Like we mentioned, property tax delinquency is not the end of the world. You still have options, including the following:
What Can Tax Ease Do to Help with Property Tax Delinquency?
At Tax Ease, we can give you all the help you need to pay off your tax bill through a property tax loan. Once you start our fee-free application process, all it takes is waiting for approval, which usually happens within 24 hours. Once approved, we’ll present you with a repayment plan that suits your needs, set up an appointment (either in-person or electronically) to sign your documents and, finally, pay off all of your property taxes in full so you don’t incur further penalties or risk foreclosure.