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What Is the Redemption Period for Tax Sales in Missouri?

Posted on December 1, 2023

Homeowners in Missouri are required to pay property taxes. If someone is delinquent in a property tax obligation, meaning they have fallen behind on payments, they will most likely have a redemption period of up to one year to pay what is owed before the title of the home is transferred to the highest bidder at a tax sale.

What Happens When Property Taxes Are Not Paid in Missouri?

Different municipalities in Missouri have varying tax laws. In most jurisdictions, personal property taxes for any property owned as of January 1 are due by December 31 of the same year. Homeowners can expect tax bills from the Collector’s Office in the mail by December 1. Any property taxes not paid in full by December 31 will be subject to late fees, interest and other penalties.

If a homeowner allows a property tax obligation to become delinquent by missing payments or failing to pay taxes due by the deadline, the home could be sold at a public auction known as a tax lien sale, under Revisor of Missouri Section 140.250. A tax sale is when the government seizes and sells a piece of property to collect on a homeowner’s unpaid taxes. The home or property will be auctioned to the highest bidder at the tax sale.

A tax sale is open to anyone. An individual can register for the auction for free at any time prior to the date listed as the auction’s opening day. Registration can be completed by contacting the Collector’s Office in the county where the auction is taking place. Most Collector’s Offices have online registration systems. Missouri law requires annual county tax sales to be held on the fourth Monday of August at 10:00 a.m. and continue until all properties are offered or sold.

The Redemption Period for Sales Tax in Missouri Is One Year

When a home is sold at a tax sale, the winning bidder does not get immediate ownership of the property. In Missouri, state law gives homeowners who are delinquent in their property taxes a chance to redeem their properties. This opportunity is known as a “redemption period,” and it is a certain amount of time in which a homeowner can pay the balance on all delinquent property taxes – plus any interest, fees and penalties owed – to keep the title to the property.

The redemption period for paying delinquent property taxes in Missouri is one year for the majority of property owners. This time limit is for properties that are classified as residential, such as homes. If a property is classified as agricultural or vacant, the redemption period for sales tax is two years. The clock for the redemption period starts ticking on the date of the tax sale.

Grounds for Overturning a Tax Sale

In limited circumstances, a property owner may be able to get a court to set aside (overturn) a tax sale in Missouri. This may occur in situations where there is reason to invalidate a completed tax sale, such as:

  • Defects in the tax lien (e.g., failure to give the property owner proper notice).
  • Proof that the taxes were paid or were not owed due to a tax exemption.
  • Excusable neglect, meaning a legitimate excuse as to why the taxes were not paid.

For more information about the redemption period for tax sales and tax lien auctions in Missouri, consult with a St. Louis tax planning attorney today. A lawyer at TdD Attorneys at Law LLC can review your specific circumstances and offer personalized legal advice.