For more information contact Jack Barnett, Communications Officer, 713-957-5663
January 25, 2016
Deferred Property Tax Payments
Houston —Texans who are age 65 or older or who are disabled as defined by law may
postpone paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax
deferral affidavit at the Harris County Appraisal District office.
Once the affidavit is on file, taxes are deferred – but not cancelled – as long as the
owner continues to own and live in the home. Taxes accumulate with 8 percent interest per
year. The law extends the tax deferral to the surviving spouse of the person who deferred
taxes on the homestead if the surviving spouse was at least 55 years old when the deceased spouse died.
“Homeowners who are 65 or older or disabled also should be sure they have applied for
and received the appropriate homestead exemptions. These exemptions will reduce future
tax burdens, and the tax savings from homestead exemptions are theirs to keep,” said Chief
Appraiser Sands Stiefer.
A filed tax deferral affidavit keeps homeowners from losing their homesteads because
of delinquent property taxes. A pending sale to foreclose on the homestead’s tax lien will
also cease as a result of filing a tax deferral affidavit. In addition, no taxing unit can start
or continue a lawsuit to collect delinquent taxes once an affidavit is filed. There are no
penalties on delinquent taxes during the deferral period; however, a tax deferral does not
cancel penalties that were already due.
“Homeowners with a mortgage on their home should first check with their mortgage
company to make certain the deferral does not violate the terms of the deed of trust
securing the mortgage on the property. Most deeds of trust require that taxes be paid
currently,” Stiefer said.
All deferred taxes and interest become due when the homeowner or surviving spouse
no longer own and live in the home. If the tax debt remains unpaid at that time, penalties
may be imposed and taxing units may take legal action to collect the past due amount.
For further details about property tax deferral, contact the Harris County Appraisal
District’s information center at 713.957.7800 or visit the district’s offices at 13013
Northwest Freeway in Houston. Information can also be found online at www.hcad.org
under “Resources > General Information > Frequently Asked Questions – Tax Deferrals.”
Information is also available on the Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division’s
website at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/.
The Harris County Appraisal District is a political subdivision of the State of Texas
established in 1980 for the purpose of discovering and appraising property for ad valorem
tax purposes for each taxing unit within the boundaries of the district. The district has
more than 1.7 million parcels of property to assess each year with a total market value of
approximately $526 billion. The appraisal district in Harris County is the largest in Texas,
serving approximately 500 taxing units, and one of the largest appraisal districts in the
United States. For further information, visit www.hcad.org.