Back taxes on properties refer to the unpaid taxes on real estate that the owner should have paid to the government. These taxes are usually imposed by the local government and may accrue for a variety of reasons, such as failure to pay property taxes on time or not filing the tax return. The accumulation of back taxes on a property can lead to severe consequences, such as liens or even foreclosure. In this post, we will discuss how to check for back taxes on a property.
Contact the County Treasurer’s Office
The County Treasurer’s office is responsible for collecting property taxes, and they can provide you with information about any back taxes that may be owed on a property. You can visit their website or call their office to request information about a property’s tax status.
Check the County Assessor’s Website
Many county assessors have a website where you can search for a property’s tax records. These records will show you the property’s assessed value, tax rate, and any outstanding taxes owed. You can search for a property by its address or owner’s name.
Search Public Records
You can also search public records to find out if a property has any back taxes owed. Public records are available at the local county clerk’s office or online. You can search for the property’s title to see if there are any liens or judgments against it, which may include back taxes.
Check with the IRS
If a property owner owes back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they may have a lien on the property. You can check with the IRS to see if there are any outstanding tax liens on the property.
Hire a Title Company
A title company can perform a title search on the property to determine if there are any liens or judgments against it. This search will reveal any back taxes owed, as well as any other potential issues with the property’s title.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can help you find properties that are currently in foreclosure or have tax liens. They may also be able to provide you with information on any back taxes owed on a property you are interested in purchasing.
Check with the City
In addition to the county, the city where the property is located may also have a tax authority. You can check with the city to find out if there are any back taxes owed on the property.
Look for Red Flags
There are several red flags that may indicate a property has back taxes owed. For example, if the property is in disrepair or has been abandoned, this may be a sign that the owner is struggling to keep up with payments. You should also be wary of properties that have recently been transferred or have a history of delinquent taxes.
Consider Using a Professional Service
If you are not familiar with the process of checking for back taxes on a property, you may want to consider using a professional tax resolution/consultation service. Some companies specialize in performing title searches and tax lien searches, and they can provide you with a detailed report on the property’s tax status.
Check the Tax Sale Listings
In some areas, properties with unpaid taxes are sold at tax sales. You can check the tax sale listings to see if the property you are interested in has been listed for sale due to unpaid taxes. If the property is listed, you may be able to purchase it at a reduced price.
Review the Property’s Tax History
Reviewing a property’s tax history can give you an idea of how consistently the owner has paid property taxes in the past. You can request a copy of the property’s tax history from the County Treasurer’s office or search for it on their website.
Understand the Consequences of Back Taxes
Understanding the consequences of back taxes is crucial when considering purchasing a property. If a property has back taxes owed, the owner may face penalties, interest charges, liens, or foreclosure. It is important to fully understand the potential risks and consequences before making an offer on a property with back taxes owed.
Checking for back taxes on a property is an essential step in the due diligence process when purchasing real estate. Failure to identify back taxes can result in significant financial consequences, such as liens, foreclosures, or unexpected expenses. By following the steps outlined in this post, you can ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision when purchasing a property.