Amidst all the excitement of signing the papers, moving in and unpacking you may have missed information regarding the homestead tax exemption. What is it and how does it benefit you as a new homeowner? We’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know:
What is the Homestead Tax Exemption?
A homestead exemption lowers your taxes by deducting a portion of your home’s value from taxation. For example, say you recently bought a home appraised at $400,000, and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $375,000.
You must meet the following criteria to qualify for the homestead exemption in the state of Texas:
- You own your home as of January 1 of the tax year.
- You must reside in the home as your primary residence.
- You are an individual homeowner, not a corporation or business entity.
- You did not claim any other property for homestead exemption in the same tax year.
When Can You Apply?
As of January 2022, you may now apply as soon as you close on your home. Prior to that, homeowners had to wait until the following year.
How to Apply:
Applying for the homestead exemption is as simple as downloading the Residence Homestead Exemption Application from your county appraisal district’s website (quick links below), filling it out, and mailing the completed form, along with all required documents (listed below), to your county appraisal district.
To complete your application, you will need the following required documents:
- The Residence Homestead Exemption Application (Form 50-114) for your county appraisal district.
- A copy of your valid Texas driver’s license or identification card with an address matching the address you are claiming.
What is the Deadline?
Your application must be submitted between January 1 and April 30 of the tax year. It is important to note that early submissions are not accepted. In the case you miss the deadline, you have up to one year after you pay your taxes to apply.
Do I Need to Apply Every Year?
No. Once complete, you do not need to apply again unless the appraiser sends a new application.