Texans may postpone paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax deferral affidavit at the Henderson County Appraisal District office if they are:
• age 65 or older;
• 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.
Texas homeowners may postpone paying the currently delinquent property taxes due on the appreciating value of their homes by taking advantage of a payment option called “residence homestead tax deferral” and filing a tax deferral affidavit at the Henderson County Appraisal District.
This tax relief allows homeowners to pay the property taxes on 105 percent of the preceding year’s appraised value of their homestead, plus the taxes on any new improvements to the homestead. The remaining taxes are postponed — but not cancelled — with interest accruing at 8 percent per year.
Once the homeowner files the tax deferral affidavit with the appraisal district, no taxing unit can start or continue a lawsuit for the deferred taxes as long as that person owns and lives in the home. When the homeowner no longer owns and lives in the home, the deferred taxes and interest become due. If the taxes are not paid, taxing units can then sue to collect the deferred taxes and interest. Additional penalties are possible.