How Far in Advance Can You Pay Property Taxes?

by Tina Amo
Paying your property tax in advance could save you some money.

Tax on real estate is a key source of revenue for local governments. The taxpayer's yearly bill is based on the value of his property. The figure can be variable, depending on the myriad factors that affect real estate. To ease the burden of the tax, some local governments accept payments in installments. You can make a full payment, but your tax assessor will determine an acceptable time period for advance payment.

Benefits of Advance Payment

There are advantages to paying your property tax before it's due. Some states will give you a discount on the bill if you pay the full amount early. Also, you can claim a deduction for the property tax payment when you file your state and federal taxes.

Possible Limitations

Each state's revenue office assesses property values each year. These assessments could lead to new valuations for the property and, consequently, a new property tax amount. If the property value remains the same, the associated tax will not change, but there is no guarantee that your assessment will stay the same for consecutive years. For this reason, revenue offices that allow advance payments typically only accept payments for the current year.

Paying into Escrow

Some tax assessor offices set up escrow accounts for residents who wish to prepay their property taxes. With this system, you can make a monthly payment toward the semiannual tax bill or the total amount due for the current year. The process allows taxpayers to remit payment in manageable amounts.

Making the Payment

Property tax assessors typically send out tax bills in October or November, with a due date in December or January. If you do decide to pay your property tax bill ahead of time, ensure that the office receives your check before the end of the year. If your payment arrives later, you cannot take it as a deduction for that year. You would have to wait and claim it in the following tax filing period. Consider mailing your check early, making the payment in person, or paying online.

About the Author

Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images