Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office

John M. Allen, Treasurer

Maricopa County Treasurer's Office

Tax Lien Tutorial

  • Introduction

    The Tax Lien Sale provides for the payment of delinquent property taxes by an investor. The tax on the property is auctioned in open competitive bidding based on the least percent of interest to be received by the investor.

    Property taxes that are delinquent at the end of December are added to any previously uncollected taxes on a parcel for the Tax Lien Sale. The sale takes place online in early February of each year. Please read the disclaimer before deciding to bid, and see our lien FAQ page and lien history page.

    Parcels whose taxes are subject to sale will be advertised, in January, in a Maricopa County newspaper of general circulation.

    The advertisement appears in the Arizona Business Gazette about three weeks before the auction:

    • in the Arizona Business Gazette, Copies of the newspaper are usually available for purchase at the Treasurer's Office.
    • posted on the Tax Sale website
    • in the Treasurer's Office (on the lobby computers) at 301 W. Jefferson, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85003.
    • a CD called the “Tax Sale Advertising List” for $25.00 can be purchased: ResearchMaterial.pdf

    The investor is responsible for all research on the parcels available for auction. County maps for research may be found by visiting the Maricopa County Assessor's website. Read our Recommendations to all bidders.

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  • Pre-sale Requirements

    To be eligible to bid, investors must provide the Treasurer's Office with a completed:

    Please mail completed forms to Maricopa County Treasurer, 301 W Jefferson St #140, Phoenix, AZ 85003, or fax to (602) 506-1102.

    A number will be assigned to each bidder for use when purchasing tax liens through the Treasurer’s office and the online Tax Lien Sale.

    Registration is processed through the Treasurer’s Office, except during the time the Tax Sale website is available to the public (from mid-January through mid-February). Then, during the Tax Sale, registration will be processed through

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  • Proxy Bid Procedure

    Proxy bidding is a form of competitive sale in which bidders enter the minimum interest rate that they are willing to accept for each certificate. The auction system acts as an electronic agent, submitting bids on behalf of each bidder. The result of the proxy system is that the electronic agent keeps lowering the bid to submit by one percent increments until you are either the only bidder left, (in which case you get the certificate at one percent lower than the previous bid) or until you reach the floor you have set.

    • Zero percent bids will not be treated as proxy bids. They will be awarded at zero.
    • If you are the only bidder on a given certificate and your minimum rate is greater than zero percent, the electronic agent will submit a bid of 16% on your behalf.
    • In the case of a tie at the winning bid rate, the system awards to one of the tie bidders through a random selection process using a random number generator.
    • In no case will a bidder be awarded a certificate at a rate lower than his specified minimum acceptable rate.
    • Certificates that receive no bids will be "struck to the state" at 16%.

    The successful bidder will pay the entire amount of taxes, interest, and fees via ACH debit by the end of the next business day. Fees include a non-refundable/non-interest earning Tax Payer Information Fee of $5.00/10.00 as per ARS 42-18122B. If payment has not been made, the parcel(s) will be struck to the State of Arizona.

    Each investor will receive an Outstanding Portfolio Report identifying each parcel for which the investor had acquired a tax lien.

    When making an inquiry on a property, use the parcel number located in the left column of the Portfolio.

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  • Bid Interest

    Bids are for the percent of interest income to bidder.

    The maximum bid is 16% simple interest per annum, prorated monthly. The lowest acceptable bid is 0% per annum.

    The successful (lowest) bid will determine the rate of interest to be paid on the Tax Lien, representing the amount of taxes, interest, fees and charges then due. Also read Proxy bidding in this Tax Lien Tutorial

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  • Redemption of Liens

    If the owner and/or agent redeems the property tax lien, the investor receives a payment of what they paid for the lien, less the processing fee, plus the prorated monthly rate of interest that was awarded at the sale.

    The lien bears interest at the bid rate from the first day of the month following the purchase of the tax lien.

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  • Deeds

    When a property owner fails to redeem the CP prior to the expiration of three years from the date the parcel was first offered at sale, the investor may apply for a court ordered deed to the property (judicial foreclosure).

    As of December 31, 2003, the Treasurer's Office does not issue Treasurer's deeds on buyer purchased CPs. All buyer foreclosures are judicial.

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  • Re-Assignment Purchasing aka Transfer of Ownership of a CP

    If not redeemed, a CP may be transferred by affidavit to another person who is a registered CP buyer with the Maricopa County Treasurer's office.

    We do have a pre-made form for the reassignment of a Certificate of Purchase, or the current lien holder may create one of their own. The affidavit should include the:

    Date Current CP Buyer #, name, address and notarized signature The new CP Buyer #, name, address and signature The parcel #, CP #

    There is a $10.00 transfer fee for each CP#. The out of office negotiations are agreements solely between the current and new lien holders. The Treasurer's Office simply processes the reassignments.

    It usually takes a few days to complete the reassignment process, you are welcome to mail or walk in your reassignment request. We will notify you by email when it is complete.

    If the lien is redeemed during the transition period, the Treasurer pays the redeemed taxes to the last CP holder on record. The $10 fee would be refunded to whichever lien holder paid the fee.

    The Treasurer's Office must be notified of the transfer with an original affidavit for it to be valid.

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  • Purchasing Delinquent Taxes for Subsequent Years

    Any party holding a Certificate of Purchase (CP) on a delinquent tax lien for a prior tax year may purchase the delinquent tax for a subsequent year.

    A subsequent year’s tax (sub-tax) can be added to an existing CP beginning on June 1 and ending on January 14. Subsequent year liens not sub-taxed will go to the next tax lien auction in February. The interest earned on a sub-tax is the same as that of the original CP.

    The person wishing to sub-tax is responsible for determining the amount due for the fixed amounts of taxes and fees, and the interest accrued based upon the date of the sub-tax purchase. Interest is on the total tax amount and accrues on the first day of each subsequent month. The fee for each sub-tax is $5.00.

    There are two ways to sub-tax:

    1. In the Treasurer’s office using computer terminals located in our lobby. Instructions and assistance are available.
    2. Send a list of desired purchases and payment to:
         Maricopa County Treasurer
         Attention: Tax Lien Department
         301 W. Jefferson Street, Suite 140
         Phoenix, AZ 85003-2199

    Please use the format below when submitting a purchase request.

    Parcel number(s) Certificate of Purchase number Total Amount of taxes & interest plus a $5.00 sub-tax fee per parcel Buyer number

    Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office recommends using EXCEL or one of the other spreadsheet programs when using OPTION 2. This will increase the accuracy and timeliness of processing your request.

    The amount due is on our website at: To retrieve the “Tax Summary” page for a parcel, you can click here and enter a "Parcel #", or you can go to our Homepage and enter a "Parcel #" in the "Taxpayer" panel. From June through August, if there is a dollar amount printed in red in the upper right column, there is a delinquency eligible for sub-taxing. After August, the new tax year amounts are added to our website. You will now need to look for the "unpaid tax" line for the prior tax year to determine the amount to sub-tax. A redemption statement is another source used to determine sub-tax purchase amounts. That amount, plus the $5.00 fee, is the total amount necessary to sub-tax. Personal and business checks are accepted.

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  • Monthly Activity Statement and Outstanding Portfolio Report

    An Activity Statement will be created for each CP buyer, listing their redemptions, purchases, surrenders, expirations, and extinguishments.
    Only those accounts with activity in the last month will have a report available on the Tax Lien Web site.
    Outstanding Portfolio Reports will also be available for active buyers The Tax Lien Web is updated the first week of each month. These statements can be viewed on the Maricopa County Treasurer's Tax Lien Web site. To have access to this information you must first register.

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Seniors needing additional property tax relief and Arizonans not required to file individual income taxes may be able to take advantage of state tax credits

Individual income tax filing season in the state provides potential benefits for Arizonans whose income level is below minimum threshold limits and not required to file an individual income tax return or are seniors who own a residence.

Both may still be eligible for state tax benefits by submitting two forms available through the Arizona Department of Revenue - Form 140ET Credit for Increased Excise Taxes or Form 140PTC Property Tax Refund Claim.

  • Form 140PTC is used by qualified individuals to claim a refundable income tax credit for taxes paid on property located in Arizona that is either owned by or rented by the taxpayer. Form 140PTC provides a tax credit of up to $502. To claim a property tax credit, you must file your claim or extension request by April 15, 2020. You cannot claim this credit on an amended return if you file it after the due date.
  • Form 140ET is used by individuals not required to file an Arizona individual income tax return but qualify to claim the refundable excise tax credit. The maximum credit available for the increased excise tax (Form 140ET) is $100 per household. An excise tax is a tax levied on certain goods by the state or federal government such as fuel, cigarettes, cellphones and alcoholic beverages.

Individuals not filing an income tax return and claiming both credits need only to complete Form 140PTC. However, individuals not submitting a tax return and not claiming the property tax credit must complete Form 140ET to claim the credit for increased excise taxes.

To determine eligibility for either Form 140PTC or Form 140ET, see form instructions at

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CP Expirations Legal Changes

There has been a change in CP Liens that is applicable to lienholders. Beginning September, 2019, SB1236 will include a provision that modifies the language in §A.R.S. 42-18127 Section A.

The original certificate of purchase, in addition to all subsequent taxes (sub taxes) will expire if an action to foreclose has not commenced within ten years after the last day of the month in which the original certificate was acquired.

Pursuant to this legislation, tax liens eligible for expiration will include the original certificate and all related sub taxes in the expiration process. Those liens with deadlines that are already in effect will not be affected however it will affect all future sub taxing liens so that the deadline will expire within a ten year period after the last day of the month that it was acquired and time limits cannot be extended to the original purchase.

You should consult your attorney for further advice.

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Beware of Alternate Tax Payment Websites!

Please be aware of other property tax payment websites which could mislead you to believe they are the Maricopa County Treasurer’s website. Although you can make payments through them, they are not our official agent and will charge you processing fees. We have no control over payments made through them.

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Parcel number 123-45-678 9, can be entered as 123 45 678

Parcel number 123-45-678a 9, can be entered as 123 45 678 a

For Mobile Home/Business Personal Property - Use the personal property roll number with a prefix of 9 as the parcel number.
Example: Roll number 60-00-001 8 can be entered as 960 00 001.

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