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Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Property Tax Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Please click on the question to find the answer. Address any questions not answered here to: taxoffice@smith-county.com
1. How is my property value determined?
2. What are some exemptions?  How do I apply?
3. When are taxes due?
4. What if I don't receive a tax statement?
5. Will a lien be placed on my property if the taxes are not paid?
6. What if I sold my property last year?
7. What if my mortgage company is supposed to pay my taxes?
8. Can I get a discount on my taxes if I pay early?
9. Do I have to pay all my taxes at the same time?
10. What kind of payment options are available?
11. Will the Tax Office ever accept credit card payments?
12. What is a tax certificate, and how can I obtain one?

Q: Answer #1: How is my property value determined?
A:

The Smith County identifies property to be taxed, determines its appraised value, whether to grant exemptions, the taxable owner and address, and which taxing jurisdictions may tax the property. 

For information on VALUES, EXEMPTIONS, OWNERSHIP or ADDRESS, please call the Smith County at 903-590-2920.

The Appraisal District mailing address is: 394 Morse Street Denton, Texas 76205.

The Denton Appraisal District can also be accessed through their website, the address is http://www.dentoncad.com/.

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Q: Answer #2: What are some exemptions?  How do I apply?
A:

Exemptions reduce the taxable value of your property.  This lowers your tax amount.  Some of these exemptions are:

Residence Homestead Available for all home owners on their residence as long as they lived there on January 1st of the tax year.

Disabled Homestead Can be taken in addition to the homestead exemption; available to those who qualify according to specific guidelines.

Disable veteran or survivor Can be taken in addition to the homestead exemption, according to a disability rating.  This exemption can be taken on any property in Texas; it is not limited to the homestead property.

Age 65 or Older Can be taken in addition to homestead exemption on residence.  Home owners over the age of 65 may also arrange for a Tax Affidavit Deferral, You may choose to defer the collection of taxes if you own and occupy your residence and taxes are deliquent; however, a tax lien remains on the property and interest of 8% a year continues to accrue. 

The chief appraiser is responsible for administering exemption applications.  A property owner or the owner's authorized agent must file any necessary exemption form before May 1 of the tax year.

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Q: Answer #3: When are taxes due?
A: Tax statements are mailed each October of the Tax year and are due on receipt. In order to be timely, payment of taxes must be postmarked before the specified date. Taxes are deliquent on FEBRUARY 1 of each year and subject to penalty and interest, and subject to possible lawsuit.
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Q: Answer #4: What if I don't receive a tax statement?
A: Failure to receive a tax statement does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty, interest, due date, the existence of a tax lien, or any procedure instituted to collect a tax.
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Answer #5: Will a lien be placed on my property if the taxes are paid?

A: No, if taxes are paid by January 1 there is no lien. However, if taxes are not paid by January 1 State law automatically places a tax lien on property on JANUARY 1 of each year to ensure that taxes are paid.
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Q: Answer #6: What if I sold my property last year?
A: The person who owned the property on January 1 of the tax year is personally liable for the tax, even if he/she sold the property during the year.  Let the buyer beware, however, the lien follows the property.
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Q: Answer #7: What if my mortgage company is supposed to pay my taxes?
A: If your property taxes are paid by a mortgage company and you receive a tax statement, write your loan number on the statement, forward it immediately to your mortgage company for payment and notify the Tax Office in writing.
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Q: Answer #8: Can I get a discount on my taxes if I pay early?
A:
We currently do not offer early payment discounts.
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Q: Answer #9: Do I have to pay all my taxes at the same time?
A: No.  You can select one of the payment options to pay your taxes in installments, or you may pay Smith County, incorporated city, or school district taxes separately.
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Q: Answer #10: What kind of payment options are available?
A:

Half-Payment Option: You may pay the January amount in two equal installments without incurring penalty and interest if: (1) you pay one-half of the January amount by November 30 of each tax year, for the current tax year. (2) you pay the remaining one-half by June 30.

4-Payment Option: (This option applies only to property the person occupies as a residence homestead and only to those persons who are considered disabled under SSI) If, before January 1st of the current tax year, you are disabled or 65 years of age and are qualified for the OVER 65 or DISABLED HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS, you may make your payments in four equal installments without incurring penalty and interest, if paid in the following manner:

1st payment due by January 31;

2nd payment due by March 31;

3rd payment due by May 31;

4th payment due by July 31.

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Q: Answer #11: Will the Tax Office ever accept credit card payments?
A: Yes, current projects are underway and scheduled to be announced in the near future.
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Q: Answer #12: What is a tax certificate, and how can I obtain one?
A: A tax certificate is a certified document showing all deliquent taxes and may include current taxes. If delinquent, the certificate shows penalties and interest that are due according to tax records.  The fee to obtain a certificate is $10.00 per certificate; prepayment is required.
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