TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / All Tax Guides / General Tax Tips / Paying Property Taxes Online

Paying Property Taxes Online

Updated for Tax Year 2014


OVERVIEW

Many local agencies are set up to accept property tax payments online. When paying property taxes online, it is important to note some considerations that can affect your federal income tax return.


Get every deduction you deserve

TurboTax Deluxe searches more than 350 tax deductions and credits so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

For only $54.99*
Start for Free

Though government agencies tend to be a bit slower adapting to technology than the private sector, many local agencies are set up to accept property tax payments online through their own websites or sometimes through an authorized third-party site. When paying property taxes online, it is important to note some considerations that can affect your federal income tax return.

Online payment methods

It should come as no surprise that most local governments accepting online payment of property taxes accept major credit and debit cards. Some jurisdictions, such as Dallas County, Texas, utilize the Automated Clearing House network, usually referred to as an ACH payment. ACH payments are like electronic checks that allow the government agency to deduct the payment from your bank account.

Credit card advantages

The timing of your property tax payments can be extremely important when taking a deduction on your federal tax return. To claim a property tax deduction, the Internal Revenue Service requires that you actually make the payment during the same year you report the deduction. When filing your 2014 tax return in 2014, for example, you can only deduct the property taxes you paid on or between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

If you find yourself short on funds to pay your property taxes at the end of the year, you can always use a credit card and make the payment online. This way, you don’t have to wait until next year to take the property tax deduction, and in most cases you may make your credit card payments over time. However, high interest rates charged by credit card companies can wipe out any benefit you received by taking the deduction if you don’t pay off the card promptly.

Property tax deductions

If the sole reason you’re making the payment online is to take the property tax deduction, it’s a good idea to first ensure you’re eligible for the deduction. To take the deduction, you must be personally liable for the property tax. This means you can’t make the online property tax payment for someone else’s home and take the deduction yourself.

Moreover, your deduction may not include any amount that your local government charges for special improvements it makes to your property that the IRS refers to as a nondeductible assessment for local benefits. For example, if your county government requires payment for special improvements it makes to your property, such as for the construction of a sidewalk, but doesn’t require similar payments from most other residents in the jurisdiction, you may not include the payment in your property tax deduction.

Report on Schedule A

The other issue you should consider before paying your property taxes online is that you must itemize your deductions in order to take the property tax deduction. Sometimes taking the standard deduction is more beneficial than itemizing your deductions. To illustrate, suppose you’re eligible for an $8,500 standard deduction, and an estimate of your itemized deductions (including property taxes) is less than $8,500. In this case, it makes sense to take the standard deduction in lieu of itemizing and deducting your online property tax payments. Therefore, there would be no tax benefit to paying your property taxes early.

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

DAYS left
LAST DAY to file
1 DAY left
to file your taxes by April 15
2014 taxes due today
Start for Free
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or efile and are subject to change without notice. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal efile of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for efiling state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Mobile: Actual prices are determined at the time of print or efile and are subject to change without notice. Come back here before you file to confirm that the price has not changed, especially if it's been a while since you downloaded this app.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app features and content. TurboTax mobile app devices supported include Android 4.1 and above, iOS 8 on iPhone 4s and above, and iPad 2.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with efile and direct deposit; tax refund timeframes will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $34.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support (phone or chat) vary by time of year. Phone support not included with Free Edition.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice service is available for your toughest tax questions; fees may apply. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Click here for full terms and conditions. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • Get up to 10% on top of your federal refund: Amazon.com Gift Card offer is for federal refunds only. Limits apply ($2000 per e-card, maximum $10,000 per customer). Offer available only for TurboTax Online (except Federal Free Edition) or CD/download versions sold and shipped, or downloaded directly from Intuit or Amazon. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards cannot be canceled, transferred for value or redeemed for cash.

    Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ('GCs') cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2013 TurboTax products.
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars: Average based on customer ratings on TurboTax.com for TurboTax Online and CD/download products tax year 2014, as of January 2015.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • TurboTax CD/Download priority phone support: Priority phone support for TurboTax CD/Download Premier and Home & Business is accessible exclusively via the TurboTax.com Help Center.
  • Benefit Assist: After you file, TurboTax automatically shows you a full list of government benefits you may qualify for, like Food Stamps or reduced phone & utilities. Plus, we help you apply, saving you time and making it easier than ever to get more money! Estimate based on calculation of Benefit Assist users from tax year 2013 and published reports of average benefit and savings amounts from federal and state programs. Actual amounts and qualifications based on your individual situation; some individuals will not qualify. Feature may not be available for all customers.
  • Simplified State Experience: New, simplified state tax preparation available for most filers.
  • Eligibility for $25 cash back for returning Deluxe customers: Customers who have completed their 2013 taxes in TurboTax Deluxe (CD or download), and have completed their 2014 taxes in either TurboTax Premier or TurboTax Home & Business (CD or download), and apply here before 11:59PM PDT April 20, 2015, are eligible for $25 back. 2014 TurboTax Advantage users are ineligible for this offer. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.
  • $0 Upgrade Offer: Valid for customers who filed their 2013 taxes with TurboTax Deluxe (CD or download), completed prior year data transfer this year, and encounter an upgrade to either 2014 TurboTax Premier or 2014 TurboTax Home & Business (CD or download). Valid February 6, 2015 through April 20, 2015. TurboTax Advantage users are ineligible for this offer. This offer may not be combined with our $25 cash back offer. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.