Owning a home in Texas means you have to pay property tax. But when do you pay property taxes in Texas? Well, the first of January is the due date for tax payment and you should stay prepared in advance. But if you’re a new property owner, you might also have many questions, such as, what if I can’t pay property tax on time? How long can I take to pay them and when can I stop paying?

In this article, we will try to answer all your questions. We’ll also help you explore your options if you’re short on funds and can’t pay taxes.  

How Does Property Tax Work in Texas?

The tax process in Texas starts with appraisal districts appraising properties by 1st January. They complete appraising properties by 30th April. During this time, the appraisal districts also take care of exemption applications. By the month of May, tax notices are sent to Texas residents. Property owners can then appeal to review boards till the month of July and after reviewing the applications and requests, the officers approve appraisal records. Local taxing units then send tax bills to property owners by October 1st.

So when do you need to pay property taxes in Texas? well, the sooner, the better. Most property owners pay their taxes before the 31st of the first month of the upcoming year. 

Who Is Responsible For Paying Taxes in Texas?

Property owners either directly or through their mortgage lenders (using an escrow account) pay property taxes in Texas. However, when it comes to new homeowners, who will pay the taxes depends upon a lot of things

For example, if the tax is due at the time of selling, it is the seller’s responsibility to take care of the pending task. Again, the dates are important here. In most cases, buyers offer to pay the taxes in advance for the upcoming year. To avoid any confusion on the matter, new buyers must seek tax consultation before going ahead with property taxes. 

How Long Can You Go Without Paying Taxes and What Happens Next?

Once you have received your property tax bill in the month of October, you are given a few months to pay them. 31st of January the following year is the last date for paying the taxes. If you fail to pay your property tax by the 31st of January. On 1st February, all unpaid taxes are listed as delinquent. 

After crossing the 31st January mark, you’ll have to pay an additional penalty of 6%. In addition to that, your interest will go up by 1% meaning you’ve already taken a 7% hit by February 1st. The penalties and interest will keep increasing by 2% till the month of July. After July, however, things will start to get more difficult because the interest rate will keep on increasing by 1% each month till December. 

If you are past due for taxes, you can expect to receive legal notices from an attorney’s office hired by the tax collection authorities. At this point, you’ll have to pay the penalty plus the attorney’s fee and court costs. 

The taxing units may give you an option to choose an installment plan for your property taxes but that doesn’t mean it would be easy. You’d still have to pay a large sum in the form of a down payment. 

In case you are far behind in your dues, the tax-collecting units may sue you, adding more costs to your dues. It is important to remember that even if you decide to sell the house, as the original owner, you’d still be liable to pay the outstanding taxes under the property tax code. 

You can go into foreclosure anytime once you are overdue on your taxes. If you fail to pay the lien within the given time, your house will be auctioned in 60 to 120 days. 

Can You Lose Your House If you Don’t Pay Property Tax on Time? 

It’s highly possible. If your mortgage lender didn’t set up an escrow account for tax money, it means that you were responsible for the tax payment. Fortunately, you are not all out of options, NXT SQFT has got your back. We can help you sell your house quickly, and that too, for a flat fee. With our expert team of agents working for you, we’ll ensure that you get the best deal for your property without any strings attached. So if you are behind on your taxes and thinking about when do you pay property taxes in Texas, then NOW is the right time and we can help you with that by making your home-selling process fast and efficient. 

To learn more, get in touch with us today!