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How to Avoid Property Tax Penalties

How to Avoid Property Tax Penalties

As you may already know, when you purchase a piece of property, you are required by law to begin to make tax payments to the taxation authorities for it. If you fail to keep up with the payments as is required, you may experience a falling out with the authorities.

A property tax (also sometimes referred to as a millage rate, or mil tax) is a type of tax that you pay to the IRS or state taxation authorities on real estate or other specific types of property that you own. The amount of money that you will be required to remit in taxes to the IRS, state, or local government depends on the appraised value of your house. This value is calculated by including both the value of the real estate property and the land upon which it sits.

Property taxes vary from place to place around the country, as they are set by individual counties and municipalities. These individual counties and municipalities (otherwise known as local governments) rely heavily on the revenue received from property taxes to fund necessary public services such as law enforcement and the fire department.

Since the country-wide property tax rates are not determined by one centralized body, it has resulted in some states having very high property tax rates, and others being famous for their notoriously low tax rates.

What is the best way to avoid Property Tax Penalties?

Whatever the case may be, the easiest and most uncomplicated way to avoid property tax penalties is by paying your taxes. However, if something has happened along the line and this is not the case, you may be facing a tax penalty. The law requires all property owners to face penalties if the payments for their property tax are late.

If you already have a property tax penalty leveled against you, the best way to go about canceling it would be to request a penalty cancelation in writing. You may also fill out and submit a signed ‘Request for Cancellation of Penalties’ form and wait for the authorities to get back to you.

Generally speaking, it should take about four to six weeks for them to send you a written response to your request. This period of time is subject to changes, especially during the peak period of tax collection and around the delinquent dates.  If your request for the cancellation of property tax penalties is approved, the officials will respond to your form or letter in writing, informing you about the approval. If on the other hand, the request for cancellation is denied, the officials will also respond to you giving you reasons for the denial of cancellation.

Tips to help you avoid Property Tax Penalties

  • Ensure that you are receiving the property tax bills for all the properties that you own. Keep track of their numbers and check off the bills as you receive them.
  • Call the assessor’s office if you are missing any tax bills.
  • Sign up for a property tax reminder by text or email
  • As opposed to the April 15 stipulated by the IRS as the deadline for federal taxes, December and April 10th respectively are the deadlines for secured property taxes.
  • Be sure to mail your property tax payments early so that the envelope is postmarked on or before the due date.
  • Keep your county assessor’s office up to speed with any changes in your address so that your bills will be mailed correctly.
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