Property Tax Surprise

Today TaxMama® hears from Tony in the TaxQuips Forum with an odd problem. (Here’s the short version – read the long version on the site.) “He just got a notice that his home is about to be sold because the property taxes haven’t been paid on it. He’s never gotten the invoices – they have all gone to the previous owner in another state. (I can certainly understand how upsetting that can be!) But, Tony is asking all the wrong questions, like ‘who is responsible?” and who can he hold accountable for this. Instead, what should he do immediately?”

Ask TaxMama 

 Dear Tony,  

It doesn’t matter who is at fault. 

YOU have to pay RIGHT AWAY, if you don’t want someone to buy YOUR house at auction for a handful of dollars.  

GO TO THE PROPERTY TAX OFFICE IMMEDIATELY and pay the tax. Have the mailing address changed to the property so you get the bills from now on.  While you are there, you can ask the right questions.  

If you used an escrow company and a title company, you can find out if they filed the appropriate documents to show the sale. If there are title and escrow people involved, you may have recourse against them.  

First PAY.  

Then find out the details …That is…if you want to keep your home.  

Incidentally, this statement really confuses me “i do not recall mentioning who will pay property tax when I got the home.”  Did you not understand that once you own a home, YOU are responsible for paying the property taxes on it? Sorry, that statement leaves me baffled.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about property taxes and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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