Tax Deferral for Over 65 or Disabled Persons

Texans who are 65 or older or who are disabled may postpone paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax deferral affidavit at their 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 continue to accrue, along with 8 percent interest per year. The deferral is applicable to the tax year for which the deferral was granted and thereafter. Any taxes delinquent prior to the deferral will continue to collect standard penalty and interest.

The surviving spouse of a person 65 or older who deferred taxes on the homestead may retain the tax deferral if the surviving spouse was at least 55 years old when their spouse died. 

If a tax deferral affidavit is on file, an older homeowner or one who is disabled cannot lose a homestead because of delinquent property taxes. A homeowner can halt a pending sale to foreclose on the homestead’s tax lien. No taxing unit can start or continue a lawsuit to collect delinquent taxes. There are no penalties on delinquent taxes during the deferral period; however, a tax deferral does not cancel penalties and interest that were already due before the tax deferral was granted. 

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 after 180 days, penalties may be imposed and taxing units may take legal action to collect the past due amount. 

Please make special note that if your property has a mortgage, the lender or lien holder may require the property owner to keep their taxes current even if they are deferred. You should contact your lender regarding the terms of your loan agreement (before you decide not to pay your taxes). The mortgage company does have a right to protect their interest. We have had incidences where the mortgage company paid the deferred taxes and set up an escrow account for the tax, which increased the tax payer's monthly payment. 

For further details about property tax deferral, contact your county appraisal district. 

Galveston Central Appraisal District toll free 1 866 277-4725

Harris County Appraisal District 713 957-7800

More information is also available on the Comptroller’s website, www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/ or by calling the Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division at (800)252-9121, ext. 1
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