After buying or building your dream home in Houston Texas, and enjoying the peaceful yet exciting community experience that it offers, there are other annual matters of equal importance that you need to take care of. And that is paying for your property taxes.
If you haven’t settled it already, then you should make arrangements right after you read this article.
Property taxes are of two basic kinds: Real property (for land and improvements on land) and personal property (for movable man-made objects like vehicles). The percentage or amount of tax charged upon a property depends on its value, as well as the state or province in which it is located.
Your tax bills are normally sent around October, giving you ample time to pay your property taxes before January 31st of the following year. This year, the deadline remains the same which is on January 31 2012. Penalties will be added on to what you have to pay after February 1st.
If you haven’t settled yours yet, quickly follow these three simple steps:
1. Do the math.
Before you start scrambling for paperwork, you must first know the appraised value of your property as well as the tax rate in your county. If you have received the tax bill that was sent out last October, you may want to review that for the figures. You can also check with your realtor (for the appraised value of your property), or your local appraisal authority. No need to worry about getting the figures wrong though, as information on values and tax rates can be found online. For those living in the Harris County area, just go to this link http://www.hcad.org/records/Real.asp?search=name to search your property records and pull up property tax rate computations. For those in the Fort Bend area, visit this link https://actweb.acttax.com/act_webdev/fbc/index.jsp.
2. Deal with the paperwork.
Now that the numbers are in order, it’s time to fill out the year’s property tax forms. You should have received it in the mail, but if you haven’t yet, these are available at your local tax office. If you’re not sure on how to properly fill out the information required, you can use the tax billing that was mailed to you, or consult your local tax assessor/collector.
3. File and make payments ASAP.
Stress and hassles from property taxes can be avoided with early preparation and filing. If you’ve been busy on the last quarter of the year, start the year right by settling your property taxes early January. While you can still make payments after the January 31st deadline, remember that this would incur you penalty charges.
Paying online through credit or debit cards as well as over-the-phone payments are a couple of ways which you can utilize to easily settle your property dues. Simply visit Fort Bend County and Harris County website for more details.