Much as we might wish things were different, paying taxes is something that we all must face. Property taxes can be a particular source of anxiety for some people. Unlike the income taxes that most people pay more or less automatically, property taxes require a deeper level of interaction. While the rules may be less familiar than income taxes, getting a handle on property taxes is not that difficult.
The first concept to understand about property taxes is that this kind of tax is calculated differently based upon the classification of a property. Taxes for properties that the owner lives on are calculated at a different rate than investment and rental properties. So too taxes for vacant land are different from the property taxes for land that has a dwelling on it.
Determining how to pay property taxes can be done in a number of ways. When buying a house, property tax information can be requested from the real estate agent who is in charge of the sale. Mortgage companies can also provide this information. Another option is to contact the local tax office directly.
The tax office will be able to provide a tax statement for your property. This statement will include basic information such as ownership records as well as property tax details. These details typically include a history of the most recent tax payments made on the property as well as a notification of any pending or outstanding debt. Other useful information usually contained on the tax statement includes instructions on where any pending tax payments should be sent.
Paying property taxes can be done in a number of ways. Some mortgage companies offer the option of having property taxes included in mortgage payments. In this case, it becomes the responsibility of the mortgage provider to pay the property taxes when they become due. In this situation, it is a good idea to verify that tax payments are being made on time.
If paying through a mortgage company is not an option, most tax offices offer several ways for people to pay their property taxes. Common methods of payment include online, by mail and by telephone using a credit card. It is important to get a receipt of payment whichever method you choose. Some localities do not provide much in the way of official receipts. If this is the case in your location, ask for an updated version of your property tax statement.