It’s that time of year again…tax season. I know this is usually one of the most dreadful times of year – but, I’m here to help. By filing your homestead exemption, eligible Texas homeowners can save a percentage or dollar amount on their property taxes. How does it work? Here’s a roadmap to help you through the process:
Who is Eligible for a Homestead Exemption?
Your home must meet the following requirements to qualify for a homestead exemption:
- You must own you home on January 1.
- The home must be your principal residence on January 1.
Also, it is vital that you update your address on your driver’s license and with the tax assessor/collector in your area. The address on your driver’s license or identification card MUST match the homestead exemption address.
The form and additional information must be filed by April 30th (of this year) to qualify.
Do ALL Homes Qualify?
No. Only a home used as your principal residence qualifies for the exemption. Your home must meet this definition of a residence homestead: The home’s owner must be an individual (i.e. not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her primary residential on January 1 of the tax year. If you are age 65 or older, the January 1 ownership and residency are not required.
How Does the Exemption Work?
A homestead exemption removes part of your home’s value from taxation, therefore lowering your property taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $100,000, and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption, you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $75,000.
What Homestead Exemptions are Available?
The following homestead exemptions are available to you:
- School taxes – All residence homestead owners may receive a $25,000 homestead exemption from their home’s value for school taxes
- County taxes – If your county collects a special tax for roads or flood control, you may receive a residence exemption of $3,000 for county taxes.
Of course, check with your county for specifics.
How to Apply?
- Complete Application
- File an application with your county of residence. Married individuals should only list one person as the primary homeowner. If you are 65 years of age or older, or have a disability, make sure to follow your specific instructions.
- Include Residency Proof Documents
- Make sure you proof of residency documents match the information on your homestead exemption application (mainly the address).
- Submit Application
- You can mail, fax or hand deliver the application to your county’s appraisal office. Be sure to submit the form by April 30th to qualify for the exemption.
Homestead Exemption Forms (By County)
When your homestead exemption is accepted, you do not have to apply again for the following tax year. Your homestead exemption will last as long as you live in that residence.
Do you have any questions about the homestead exemption process? I would be happy to provide guidance. Contact me anytime.