Property Tax Payment Deadline is FridayFeatured Stories, News Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
The last week of January always means more traffic at the Brazos County tax office.
Reminders from Tax Assessor-Collector Kristy Roe are focusing on those who have multiple properties who pay in person to have all their paperwork.
Two alternatives are paying property taxes online, which involves a fee, or using the outdoor drop box.
In any case, the deadline is Friday afternoon at 5 to avoid penalties.
Click below for comments from Kristy Roe, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.KristyRoe012814tax.mp3
More information from Tax Assessor-Collector Kristy Roe:
As the deadline to pay local property taxes in full approaches, taxpayers are encouraged to consider their payment options to avoid automatic penalties that could apply. Those property owners who do not qualify for a special payment option, or do not have a mortgage company that pays their taxes, have until Friday, January 31 to submit their payment.
Late payments are charged 7% on the first day of February, per the Texas Property Tax Code. The fines go up monthly until July, when the penalty stops at 12%. However the interest continues to accrue at 1% per month until the balance is paid. Attorney fees also apply beginning in July.
The first tip is to make sure you have received a tax statement on all properties you own. Check your statements against your records to verify that you have all of the information and are paying all of your taxes. Bring your statements or pay stubs, or a list of your property account numbers with you to help the staff identify the accounts you wish to pay. This will also help us take care of everyone much more quickly and accurately. The other taxpayers will appreciate it as much as the staff will.
If paying by mail, don’t wait until the afternoon of the last day. The postmark determines the date of payment, and pieces dropped in the mailbox late are often not postmarked on that date. If waiting until Friday to mail your payment, take it inside and ask the postal worker to stamp it, or spend a little extra and send it certified or with tracking to show when it was mailed.
If paying in person, don’t wait until the last day. Each year taxpayers come in on the day after the deadline explaining that they were sick, or had an accident, or just forgot. The tax office does not have the authority to waive late fees that are set by statute. Timely payment in previous years cannot be taken into account.
Give yourself plenty of time if paying in person. The lines are very long, the weather is fickle, and tempers sometimes flair. Consider using the drop box located in the front of the tax office along William J Bryan. Envelopes are available for payment by check, money order or cashiers’ check. Payments dropped by 5:00 PM on Friday January 31 will be accepted as January payments. Payments dropped after that time will be considered late and will be subject to the February penalty.
Payments may be made online with credit card, debit card or by echeck from the tax office website at www.brazostax.org. Please read and follow the instructions on the home page to use this service. Payments posted by 11:59 PM on Friday January 31 will be accepted as January payments. There is a fee for these services.
If you have lost your statements, please use the website to find your account information. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call the tax office, but the call volume is heavy, and you may have to wait until a clerk can return your call. If you need information, calling early in the week will help assure you of getting the information you need to make the deadline and avoid penalties.
Taxpayers who may not have the full amount that is due are encouraged to pay what they can before the deadline. Remember, penalty and interest is calculated on the balance of the base tax due, not on the original amount. Making a partial payment will save you money.
The tax office is receiving hundreds of payments daily, and while we appreciate your desire to hold on to your money as long as possible, payments that are mailed or dropped will have some lag time until they are posted. Save yourself the headache and worry and go ahead and make that payment before the last day. That is the best tip of the bunch.
Contact the tax office for additional information at 979-361-4470. The office is located at 300 E. William J. Bryan Pkwy in Bryan.
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