Texans may postpone paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax deferral affidavit at the Shelby County Appraisal District office if they are:
Age 65 or older; or disabled as defined by law; ? qualified disabled veterans, their unmarried surviving spouses, or their unmarried children under age 18, if no surviving spouse; or ? unmarried surviving spouses of U.S. armed service members killed on active duty and their unmarried children under age 18.
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 5 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.
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.
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 Shelby County Appraisal District at (936) 598-6171. Information is also available on the Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division’s website at Comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/