Buying a home is one of the largest purchases most people will make during their life. Owning a home is a major accomplishment, although it typically comes with a price tag that includes a mortgage, insurance, and to the dismay of many, property taxes. The state of Texas graciously allows homeowners a way to reduce their taxes with a tax exemption called the Homestead Exemption. The Homestead Exemption essentially removes a part of your home’s value from taxation, thus paying taxes on your home at a lower value and in the end, leading to a sigh of relief from many homeowners.
Lower taxes you say? How does this exemption work?
The general exemption in the state of Texas is currently $25,000, an increase from $15,000 just a few years ago. For example, if your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualify for the exemption, you will pay school taxes on the home as if it were valued at $75,000, instead of the appraisal value of $100,000.
Since we’re right smack dab in the middle of the exemption filing period, we’ll explain how you can use the Homestead Exemption to save a little extra on property taxes this year.
Who Can Qualify For the Homestead Exemption?
Homeowners who owned and occupied their home, establishing it as their main residence as of January 1st of the current tax year can qualify for the Homestead Exemption. As long as a homeowner or their spouse have not claimed the exemption on any other property, they are eligible to qualify. For a person who owns multiple properties as additional residences, vacation homes, or rental properties are not eligible to be claimed – only your principal or main residence. The owner of the property must also be a person, not a business or corporate entity.
For those who are aged 65 or older or those who are disabled, the January 1st deadline for residency and occupancy is not a requirement in the exemption. As long as you own and occupy the property, you can apply at any time during the year you turn 65. To learn more about the requirements for age and disability, please visit your local tax county website.
Can I Receive The Homestead Exemption if I’m Moving Temporarily?
If you’re a homeowner who needs to move into another residence temporarily, you can still meet the eligibility for the Homestead Exemption as long as you do not make the new residence your principal property or residence.
If you are a military service member or working in a facility that provides services related to health, aging, or infirmity, you can apply even if you exceed the two-year application period.
When is the Deadline to File For the Homestead Exemption?
You can file the Homestead Exemption as early as January 1st, but no later than April 30th.
How Do I File For the Homestead Exemption?
Some counties in Texas offer the opportunity to e-file your homestead exemption, saving you time and convenience, but many still rely on the traditional paper filing. There is no fee required to file for your exemption, but you must provide a state-issued Driver’s License or Identification Card showing your current physical address.
What Other Resources Can I Use?
More about the Homestead Exemption:
Texas Comptroller Local Tax and Appraisal Counties List:
Travis County Appraisal District Forms:
Williamson County Appraisal District Forms:
Homestead Exemption FAQ: