Archive for September, 2012

Bexar County Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on September 24th, 2012 - in Bexar, Local taxes

Information for Bexar County property taxes is available in two places: the county site and the appraisal district site.

The Bexar County site features include:

The Bexar Appraisal District site has:

To test the two different searches, I put Sea World’s address in the County search and the Appraisal District search. Nothing shows up in either if you spell the address “10500 Sea World Drive” but both have information if you shorten it to “10500 Sea World Dr”. Both give you information for “10500 Sea World”.

As a side note, did you know that Sea World pays almost $100,000 in property taxes?

Property Taxes in Disaster Areas

Published by Research Editor on September 17th, 2012 - in Tax loopholes and exceptions, Taxes

If your home is damaged in a designated disaster area, you may pay your taxes in four installments.

What is a designated disaster area?

During an emergency, the governor of Texas will declare a state of disaster in the affected counties. For example, in 2010 and 2011, Governor Rick Perry declared every Texas county a state of disaster due to extreme fire threats. If your home was damaged by the fires, you can opt to pay your property taxes in four installments.

How do I apply for installments?

There is no application. However, when you send in your first installment, you must also send written notice that you will be paying your taxes in installments.

When do I need to pay my taxes?

Pay the first 1/4 of your property taxes before Feb 1, along with a notice that you will pay the rest in installments.
Pay the second 1/4 before April 1.
Pay the third 1/4 before June 1.
Pay your final payment before August 1.

What if I miss a deadline?

If you miss a deadline, you will pay 1% interest for each month of delinquency, PLUS a 6% penalty on the unpaid portion.

For more information, see “Property Tax Issues in Disaster Areas” on the Comptroller’s website.
If you are having difficulty paying your installments, consider a property tax loan among your options.

How to Pay Property Taxes in Installments

Published by Research Editor on September 10th, 2012 - in Tax Penalties, Taxes

Generally, to avoid interest and penalties, you must pay all your property taxes before February 1. However, if you are either disabled or 65 or older, you can pay your property taxes in four installments, spreading the tax burden over the entire year, with no penalties and interest.

Qualify

You must be:
A) disabled (more at 11.13(m))
OR
B) 65 years old or older
OR
C) the unmarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran

Payment schedule

To pay taxes in installments, you must:

  • pay 1/4 of taxes before Feb 1, along with a notice that you will pay the rest (3/4) in installments
  • pay second 1/4 before April 1
  • pay third 1/4 before June 1
  • pay your final payment before August 1

Extra payments

You can pay more than the amount due–the extra will be credited to the next installment.

Benefits

NO penalty or interest, if you qualify and pay your installments on time.

Drawbacks

If you miss a deadline, the unpaid amount of taxes is delinquent and you must pay:

  • interest
  • 6% penalty on the unpaid amount

Conclusion

Paying your taxes in installments is an excellent option for those who qualify. If you do not qualify, or if you fall behind in your installment payments, consider a property tax loan to avoid the expensive penalties.

Split payments: are they for you?

Published by Research Editor on September 10th, 2012 - in Taxes

One strategy for paying your property taxes is to split them into two payments. You can pay the first payment for your 2013 taxes on or before November 30, 2012. The second payment isn’t due until June 30, 2013.

Am I eligible?

Check your property tax bill. The law requires that your bill will explain the split payment option, if it’s an option in your county.

Advantages

If you don’t have the entire payment available on January 1, 2013, splitting your taxes eases the burden of trying to pay an enormous lump sum.

Disadvantages

However, you have to pay the first half of your property taxes 32 days early (on November 30, 2012 instead of January 1, 2013).

What should I do?

If you know you won’t be able to pay your 2013 taxes on January 1, you have two viable options:
1) Pay half the taxes by November 30 and the rest before July.
2) Get a property tax loan and pay it back according to the terms of your agreement.

For more information on splitting your property tax payments, see the Texas Property Tax Code.
For more on property tax loans, see Texas Property Tax Loans.

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