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Texas Homestead Exemptions - What It Is And How To Apply

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By Author: Derik James
Total Articles: 20
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What is Homestead Exemptions

Homestead exemptions are granted by the county appraisal district where the property is found. The exemption reduces a homeowner's property tax bill by removing part of the home's value from tax assessment. All Texas homeowners may get a general residence homestead exemption on the value of their property for school taxes upon application.

An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. A homestead exemption will help you save on taxes on your home.

Kinds of Homestead Exemptions:

School taxes — If you are qualified for the Texas homestead exemption, then you will receive at least a $25,000 homestead exemption on the value of your home for school district taxes.

County taxes — Harris County currently provides a 20% optional homestead exemption to all homeowners.

Optional exemptions — Any taxing unit, including a school district, city, county or special district, may offer an exemption for up to 20% of your home's value. The amount of the optional exemption can not be less than $5,000, whatever the percentage is.

Who Qualifies?

You must own your home on January 1 of the year for which you are applying.
You must reside at the home as your principal residence on January 1 of that year and not claim any other property as homestead.
Only individual homeowners will usually receive a homestead exemption.
A homestead can be a house, condominium, or a manufactured home. It includes up to 20 acres, if the land is also owned by the homeowner and used as a yard.

How to Apply for a Homestead Exemption

Your Homestead Exemption will be denied unless all of your documents show the same homestead address, which you have mentioned already. First, fill out the application specific to your county appraisal district, then mail all of the documents to the appraisal district for your county.

Go to your county's appraisal district website and download the Residence Homestead Exemption Application.
Attach a copy of your driver's license or identification card.
Your driver's license needs to be from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TX DPS), and the address must match the homestead address, mentioned before.

Application Deadlines

You should file your regular residential homestead exemption application between January 1 and April 30 without any delay. Early applications will not be accepted to file. If your application is postmarked by April 30, this will allow the district time to process it before your tax statement comes out in the fall. If you miss the April 30th deadline, no worries you can still apply:

For a general exemption: up to two years after the date taxes become delinquent for the year.
For an over-65 or disabled person: if you turn 65, become totally disabled, or acquire a property during the year, you can apply and have the over-65 or disability exemption will be activated for that year.

Reach us and save taxes on your home today.

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