As we quickly enter tax season it’s important not to leave money on the table in the form of missed resident homestead tax exemptions. An exemption ultimately helps you save on your property taxes by providing a “discount” for part of your home’s value.
What qualifies as a “homestead?” It can be any type of separate structure, condominium or manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. It’s important to understand that the property must be your primary residence.
The types of homestead exemptions available will vary based on what you qualify for. Some of the exemptions include at least a $25,000 exemption on the value of your home for school district taxes. You can also benefit from the county tax exemptions available to you for up to 20% of your home’s value. In addition to these two types of exemptions available to all homeowners, the governing body of each taxing unit will determine other optional exemptions and the percentages associated with them.
How do you go about getting a homestead exemption? It’s fairly simple. You can file your residential homestead exemption application for your specific county between now and April 30. Here are the filings for Travis County and Williamson County. If you already qualified but are purchasing a new home, you have one year from the date of occupancy of your new home to apply again.
Are you over 65? Good news – you may be able to receive additional exemptions, and you don’t even need to be 65 as of the first of the year to apply. School districts typically grant an additional $10,000 exemption for qualified people 65 and older. Your county will have more information regarding the exemptions available to you.
Homeowners with disabilities are also eligible for additional home tax exemptions. Even if you are part of another disability benefits program already, you must separately apply for your property tax exemption as a disabled person. Filling out the proper applications and providing any necessary accompanying paperwork will determine your eligibility under the exemption.
Every bit count when it comes to tax season and that includes your homestead exemption. Be sure to fill out the necessary applications prior to April 30. If you miss the deadline you can still apply up to one year after the delinquency date. This is usually February 1 of the following tax year. For more information on this valuable initiative, check out the frequently asked questions on resident homestead exemption from the state of Texas.