With the holiday season behind us, it's time to file your Texas homestead exemption. Filing your homestead exemption is a great way to kick off the year since you can significantly reduce the taxes on your home. I've assembled all the information you need to know to submit your homestead exemption request to the local appraisal district in your area.
What is a Homestead Exemption? Texas Homestead Exemption reduces the taxes you owe on your home by lowering your home's taxable value. For example, Texas school districts offer a $25,000 tax exemption for qualified applicants, which means if your home appraises for $200,000 as of January 1st, the amount you pay in school taxes is based on $175,000 ($200,000 home value less the $25,000 school tax exemption). Other taxing authorities (e.g. county, city) may offer exemptions of up to 20% of your home's value, so filing for a homestead exemption is worth your while.
Who is eligible for a Homestead Exemption? Homestead Exemptions in Texas are granted to homeowners who apply for the exemption on the home they consider their primary residence. Homeowners must live in this residence as of January 1st of the year in which the exemption is requested. If you are 65 or older, or disabled, there are exceptions to this rule that are described in the application.
What is the Homestead Exemption Application process? Here's how to apply:
Fill out the application for your county of residence: Galveston County Homestead ExemptionHarris County Homestead ExemptionBrazoria County Homestead Exemption
Helpful Info: For married couples, either person may be listed as the owner, just be sure the required documents that are submitted are for the person listed as owner. To obtain the Legal Description and acreage information requested on the form, you may want to look up your home's tax record on using the Property Search on the Appraisal District's Website. Include the required proof of residency documentation (see NOTES below) required by the new law that went into effect in September of 2011. Submit the application to the county appraisal district where your property is located no later than April 30th of the year for which you are requesting the exemption.
Do I have to reapply for the Texas Homestead Exemption each year? Once you are granted the exemption, you do not have to reapply for it annually unless the Appraisal District notifies you that a new application is required.
Disclaimer and Additional Information The information above is not to be considered tax advice, but is provided as a helpful reminder to our site visitors and clients. For the official rules and details on Texas Homestead Exemptions, see the Texas Homestead Exemption Application and visit the Texas Comptroller's website for additional information on Texas Homestead Exemptions.