If you purchased a home this past year, now is the time to file your homestead exemption (if applicable). Despite any mail you may receive from a service offering to do this for a fee, paying such a fee is not required. It is completely free and not complicated.
A homestead exemption removes part of your home’s value from taxation. The Homestead Exemption also “caps” the taxable market value growth for your home! It may also afford you certain legal protections from creditors & circumstances arising from the death of a spouse.
For most home owners, they seek an exemption for the possibility of lowering their taxable value. Simply as an example, if a home were assessed by the county at $200,000, and the home owner received a $20,000 exemption – they would be taxed on $180,000 for their homestead.
Typically only your primary residence will qualify. The homeowner must be an individual (not a corporation or business entity) and have owned/occupied the home prior to January 1st of the tax year. For an Over-65 or Disabled exemption, the Jan 1st requirement is waived.
Any taxing unit, including a city, county, school, or special district, may offer an exemption of a portion of a home's value. Additional Homestead Exemptions exist for “65 or older” &/or “Dis-abled”, 100% Disabled Veteran, & Service Connected Disabled Veteran & Surviving Spouses.
You may still qualify if you are not the sole owner. For instance, if you own 50% of the property, & otherwise qualify, you may received 50% of the tax benefit.
FILE BETWEEN JANUARY 1 & APRIL 30!
If you do miss the deadline and remember that you haven't filed yet, you may be able to file up to two years from the delinquency date of that year's taxes!
Your homestead is protected from future appraisal tax-value increases in excess of 10% per year from the date of the last appraisal PLUS the value of any NEW improvements (like an addition, pool, etc).
To file, most counties use the standard from at Texas Comptroller's website. Click Here for that form.
Also, Here is a link for more official Tax Exemption Information.
If you want additional information or contact information for your county, we'll always be happy to help!