County extends property tax deadline to Tuesday due to holiday

 

Should auld acquaintance be forgotten, no problem. There are no tax ramifications to that.

But the Smith County tax office reminds property owners that Tuesday is the last day residents can pay their property tax bills, if they wish to deduct the sum from their 2017 federal income taxes. It’s normally Dec. 31, but because that date falls on a Saturday and county offices will be closed on Monday, the deadline is extended to Tuesday.

The tax office and Tax Assessor/Collector Gary Barber can be contacted at 903-590-2920.

“Any payment made on Tuesday, whether postmarked or made at our offices, will count as a December payment,” Barber said. “That’s how we’ll post it.”

On Friday, Barber said his office is seeing its usual year-end rush.

“We have a lot of people in line for property taxes, and the line in auto registrations is even longer,” he said. “Maybe a lot of people got cars for Christmas. We’re slammed.”

He expects Tuesday to be busy, as well.

Property tax bills still can be paid by credit card or electronic check on the Internet at any time of the day or night, Barber said.

Property owners have until Jan. 31 to pay with no penalty or interest.

Tax bills were due upon receipt, the Smith County tax office notes.

“All the statements have been mailed, so if you haven’t received a statement yet, please contact our office,” Barber said. “State law says you’re still responsible for the taxes, even if something gets lost in the mail.”

Payments can be mailed (postmarked by those dates) or delivered to the tax office in the county’s Cotton Belt Building at 1517 W. Front St.

Payments can also be made at the county’s Lindale office, 1626 S. Main St.

Payments can be in cash, check or money order and by credit card or electronic check.

“Continuing this year, credit card payments can be made online,” Barber said. “Go to the county Web site at https://publictax.smith-county.com/smithtax/. There will be a convenience fee of 2.5 percent. The fee for a debit card is $3.95. Electronic checks are free.”

Users will be able to print out a receipt good for income tax purposes.

Taxpayers can wait in line at the tax office for a receipt, or they can use a drop-box at the location, and their receipts will be mailed.

Penalties for late payment begin Feb. 1, at 7 percent. That increases by 2 percent each month until July, when attorney fees are added, as well. Those fees are 15 percent of the tax bill; after that, another 1 percent is added each month until payment is made.

Elderly and disabled residents qualify to make quarterly payments; no penalties or interest are assessed if payments are made on time. For more information on this program, contact the tax office.

The tax office does accept partial payments on current and delinquent taxes, but those too must be made by Jan. 31 to avoid penalties.

The tax office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (including through the lunch hour). It will be closed Monday for the New Year holiday.

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