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Homestead Exemption Requirements
HOW TO FILE FOR YOUR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
If you want to receive a Homestead Exemption for the taxes on your personal home and potentially save thousands of dollars, then your home must first qualify as a residence homestead on January 1st of the year in which you are applying.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION DEADLINE
You can apply for a Homestead Exemption as early as January 1, 2021 and no later than April 30, 2021 for your 2020 Homestead taxes.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION REQUIREMENTS
In order to apply for a Homestead Exemption, you must own your home as well as occupy your home as your principal residence on January 1 of the year for which you are requesting an exemption.
- You must own your home as of January 1
- You must occupy your home as your principal residence as of January 1
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION UPDATES
- On November 3, 2015, Texas voters elected to increase the Homestead Exemption for school property tax from $15,000 to $25,000 saving homeowners an average of $125 per year.
- As of September 1, 2013, applicants no longer need to show a copy of their vehicle registration receipt.
- As of September 1, 2011, a Texas state law changed the requirements for proof of residency for homeowners applying for the property tax Homestead Exemption making it required that home buyers update their address on their driver’s license with the tax assessor/collector in their area in order to be able to provide the required documentation for the Homestead Exemption.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
Your Homestead Exemption will be denied unless all of the required documents show the same homestead address. First, fill out the application specific to your County Appraisal District, then mail all of the documents to the Appraisal District for your County.
1. Fill out Residential Homestead Exemption Application for your County
- Travis County
Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012
- Williamson County
Mailing Address: 625 FM 1460, Georgetown, TX 78626-8050
- Hays County
Mailing Address: 21001 IH 35 North, Kyle, Texas 78640
- Bastrop County
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 578, Bastrop, TX 78602
- Burnet County
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 908, Burnet, TX 78611-0908
- Llano County
Mailing Address: 103 E. Sandstone St., Llano, Texas 78643
2. Include 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.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Homestead Exemption?
A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium, or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A homestead can include up to 20 acres if 1. the land is owned by the homeowner and 2. it is used as a yard or for another purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.
Do all homes qualify for Homestead Exemptions?
No. Only a principal residence qualifies, which means that a home must meet the definition of a residence homestead as follows:
The home’s owner must be an individual (not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year.
If you are age 65 or older, the January 1 ownership and residency are not required for the age 65 Homestead Exemption (his is a separate Homestead Exemption).
Do I, as a homeowner, get a tax break from property taxes?
Apply for Homestead Exemptions on your principal residence in order to remove part of your home’s value from taxation, thus lowering your taxes.
Example: If your home is appraised at $450,000, and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption (this is the amount mandated for school districts), you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $425,000. Taxing units have the option to offer a separate exemption, too. Click here to read about how to know if you qualify for Homestead Exemptions and what kind of exemptions are available to all homeowners.
What Homestead Exemptions are available?
The six main considerations for Homestead Exemptions are
- School Taxes: All residence homestead owners may receive a Homestead Exemption from their home’s value for school taxes.
- County Taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, the homestead owner may receive this tax exemption. Note: If the county grants an optional exemption for homeowners age 65 or older or disabled, the owners will receive only the local-option exemption.
- Age 65 or Older and Disabled Exemptions: Individuals 65 and older and/or disabled residence homestead owners may qualify for a Homestead Exemption for school taxes, in addition to the exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the exemption for 65 and older homeowners and the exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions. Click here to read about exemptions, limitations, and special instructions for homeowners age 65 and over and homeowners with disabilities.
- Optional Percentage Exemptions: Any taxing unit including a city, county, school, or special district may offer an exemption of a percentage of a home’s value. Each taxing unit decides if it will offer the exemption and at the percentage offered. NOTE: The Percentage Exemption is added to any other home exemption for which an owner qualifies. The taxing unit must decide before July 1 of the tax year to offer this exemption.
- Optional 65 or older or disabled exemptions: Any taxing unit may offer an additional exemption amount for taxpayers Age 65 or older and/or disabled.
- Disabled Veteran Homeowners: Click here for more information including exemptions, limitations and special instructions for Disabled Veteran homeowners.
I am applying online, but cannot find my Notice of Appraised Value with owner ID and PIN number.
Please call your local appraisal district for instructions. Note: Some districts allow the forms to be emailed directly.
I am applying in Person to have my Homestead Taxes lowered
When applying for your exemption you may choose to e-file or go in person to your appraisal district at a pre-set time that you will sign up for on your homestead form. There are opportunities to “fight your Homestead Taxes” in order to have them lowered. If you have any questions and/or require help preparing your case, please connect with me directly. I’m here to help.