Keep Up to Date with Your Current Taxes
The onus of making sure your taxes are paid is your responsibility, according to the tax code. You don’t get away with not paying your taxes just because you didn’t receive your statement. It is up to you to find out what is due from the year before and pay it by January 31.
Snap Shots of Your Property by New Year’s Day Every Year
January 1 is the date for all appraisals. That means your tax amount is based on the property from that date. Even if you lose your home two days later, you’ll still end up paying taxes for the whole year. However, if something is wrong and it has affected the market value significantly, you need to have evidence for the spring. Make every effort you can to show that your photos are from New Year’s Day.
Save the Additions and Home Improvements for the Winter
If you’re looking at making some home improvements, save them for the winter. Adding them before the New Year means that taxes will be applied to them. If you wait until January or February, you’ll not have taxes applied until the next year.
You Still have time to Share Those Big Problems
Missing that May 31 deadline does not mean that you’ve lost out on your tax appraisal. If you can prove it is 25% too high or more, there is the “Substantial Error” form that you have until January 31 to file. This will help to reduce the value the next year. There is also the “Failure to Receive” form, which you can file if you’re able to prove the Appraisal District didn’t send you the notice you required. This will give you an appeal hearing. A third option is to talk to the Chief Appraiser using Property Tax Code section 25.25(h). He can fix anything you don’t agree with just with one signature.
Have that Homestead Exemption
When you receive your tax statement, you need to check that it includes the homestead exemption amount. This will vary depending on the entity being taxed, but will usually have discounts for the county and school district on the final appraisal amount.