Paying Your Property Taxes

Many people pay their property taxes in the tax year and claim their taxes on their income taxes for that year. For example, the year 2013, you receive your property tax bill in December and pay the tax immediately. You can then claim the property taxes on your income tax. If your wait until January of 2014, you will have to claim the property taxes for 2014. There are different reasons for paying your taxes right away and there are reasons for waiting until the following year. Deciding when to pay your taxes may be determine by thinking about your current tax liability.

If you are in a higher tax bracket in 2014 than you are in 2013, you may want to wait and pay your property taxes in January of 2014. This will help lower your total tax liability in 2014. If you are in a higher tax bracket for 2013 and expect to drop into a lower tax bracket in 2014, you may wish to pay your property taxes in December of 2013 so you can claim it on your income taxes to reduce the tax liability for 2013. Other reasons to wait or pay your taxes may also include other deductions you may or may not have in a given year.

Everyone has different circumstances for needing to pay property taxes in a given year. If you usually pay your property taxes with an income tax return, you need to make sure that you receive the money before the deadline established by your community. If you fail to pay the taxes on time, you will face a penalty and some interest charges. This is so even if you miss it by one or two days. It is always wise to have an escrow account either established by your mortgage lender or one you have yourself in the bank.

When you pay your property taxes, you should make sure to receive a receipt. This is needed for your tax records as well as showing proof of payment if the community would ever say you still owe money on your taxes. After paying your property tax bill, you can then claim it on that year's tax return.

People who are low income and can apply for a homestead credit will need a copy of the tax bill to send to the state agency that handles the homestead credit. If two people are on the tax bill and only one is claiming the homestead credit, that person does need to meet the requirements for total income. There are different guidelines to follow for this type of filing. You can submit a homestead credit request even if you did not pay the property tax for the tax year you are claiming. This stated on the homestead form itself.

Now, this may be different for every state, therefore you need to read your homestead form very closely. Some states may require that the property tax is paid and some may not require proof of payment.


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