Property Tax Alternative Payment Options
Installment Payment Plan
The installment plan allows taxpayers to pay their real estate property taxes in four installments throughout the year. For many taxpayers, splitting their tax bill into four smaller payments is a helpful way to manage their household budget. Participants in the installment plan receive a discount of approximately 3.5% of their total tax bill.
Who can participate?
Property owners with an estimated tax bill of more than $100 are eligible. To participate, taxpayers may apply online or submit an application at any Pinellas County Tax Collector’s office by April 30 of the current tax year. For example, to pay your 2018 taxes by installment, we must receive your application by April 30, 2018. Once you are enrolled and the first installment payment is made, you do not have to reapply every year, as long as the first installment payment is made every year.
Please note: The installment payment plan application period is closed for 2019 property taxes. The application period for 2020 property taxes is November 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020.
When are the payments due?
1st Payment – June 30
One quarter of previous year’s gross tax discounted 6%.
2nd Payment – September 30
One quarter of previous year’s gross tax discounted 4.5%.
3rd Payment – December 31
One quarter of the current year’s adjusted tax amount discounted 3%.
4th Payment – March 31
One quarter of the current year’s adjusted tax amount, no discount.
The installment payment plan application period is closed for 2019 property taxes. Installment payment plan applications for 2020 property taxes will be accepted from November 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020.
- If the first payment in June is not made on time, the taxpayer has the option to make the first quarterly payment by July 31. However, in this case, the taxpayer loses the discount and must pay an extra 5% penalty.
- Taxpayers who do not make the first installment payment by July 31 will be returned to an annual payment status, and future participation will require reapplication.
- If the second or third payment is not made on time, the overdue amount is added to the next installment payment. However, missed installment payments result in the loss of the appropriate discount. Any amount remaining unpaid on April 1 is subject to all provisions of law pertaining to delinquent taxes.
- After receiving your 2018 tax notice, you cannot sign up for the installment plan for your 2018 taxes. To enroll for 2019 property taxes, you must sign up by April 30, 2019, and then begin making installment payments in June 2019.
- Once the first payment has been made, the taxpayer will continue to receive quarterly tax notices, which are due upon receipt.
Florida law allows taxpayers to make partial payments on property taxes for the current year only. Partial payments cannot be made for delinquent taxes. No partial payments can be made after March 31.
Taxpayers who make partial payments will forfeit all discounts applied to early payments. Additionally, the minimum amount accepted for each partial payment is $100, and there is a $10 processing fee for each payment. All taxes must be paid by March 31 to avoid becoming delinquent, at which point interest and additional fees will be added to the remaining balance. If the balance is not paid by May 30, a tax certificate will be sold.
Points to remember
- Partial payments forfeit all discounts.
- The minimum amount for each payment is $100.
- There is a $10 processing fee for each payment.
- It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to maintain the records for the balance due.
- The total tax due must be paid by March 31 to avoid becoming delinquent.
- March 31st is the last day a partial payment can be made.
The partial payment plan application for 2019 property taxes will be available as of November 1, 2019.
Under Florida law, anyone entitled to claim a homestead exemption may be eligible to defer payments of property taxes and non-ad valorem assessments. The tax deferral plan is designed for those with low incomes relative to their total tax bill. Deferring payment of your taxes, however, will add a lien to your property. Deferred taxes accrue interest each month until the taxes are paid.
If you qualify for the plan and you are under 65, you may defer the portion of your tax bill that exceeds 5% of your household income from the previous year. If your household income is less than $10,000, you may defer the entire amount of your tax bill.
Example: If your adjusted gross income is $15,000 and your tax bill is $1,000, then you may defer that part of your tax bill over 5% of your income. You will pay $750 of your taxes and you may defer $250.
If you qualify for the plan and you are over 65, you may defer the portion of your tax bill that exceeds 3% of your household income from the previous year. If your household income is less than $10,000 or is less than the amount of income designated for the additional homestead exemption, you may defer the entire amount of your tax bill.
Example: If your adjusted gross income is $15,000 and your tax bill is $1,000, you may defer that part of your tax bill over 3% of your income. You pay $450 of your taxes and you may defer $550.
How to qualify
To qualify for a tax deferral, you must:
- Be qualified to claim a homestead exemption
- Submit proof of fire and extended coverage home insurance that is in excess of liens and deferred taxes
- Provide proof of income from the previous year
- Provide proof that the insurance policy has a payable clause to the Tax Collector and a clause obligating the carrier to notify the Tax Collector of cancellation or non-renewal
- Have a home mortgage that does not exceed 70% of the assessed value of the home
- Have no liens or deferred taxes totaling more than 85% of the assessed value of the home
How to apply
An application to determine eligibility is available only at the Tax Collector’s courthouse office, 315 Court Street, 3rd Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.
The deadline for filing an application for the 2018 tax year was March 31, 2019.
For questions, please call 727-464-7777. Remember that deferring your taxes will add a lien to your property and interest will accrue each month until the taxes are paid.