If you purchased a new home in 2019, it’s time to file your homestead exemption! What is a homestead exemption? For those that don’t know or understand, the homestead exemption is a benefit to homeowners allowing for the removal of a portion of the home’s value from taxation, which in turn lowers the property taxes you pay each year. Sounds great, right? As it turns out, there are some requirements to qualify for the tax break. What are the qualifications? From qualification requirements to how it works, here’s everything you need to know about filing your homestead exemption in Texas:
How do I know if I qualify?
Qualifying for the homestead exemption is two-part. One, the property you are applying for must be your primary residence – the address needs to match the one on your driver’s license, as this is what you use to apply. Do you live on acreage? You can claim up to 20 acres of land as your homestead, as long as you maintain it for residential purposes. Second, the home must have been purchased before January 1st. What does this mean? If you purchased a home on December 28, 2019, you are eligible to apply for the homestead exemption this year (2020). However, if you didn’t purchase your home until January 2, 2020, you are not eligible to file until the next tax year. (2021)
How does it work?
The homestead exemption is filed with your local county tax appraisal office – either in-person, by mail or online. Once you have filed, you do not have to apply to the same property again as it remains on the property until it is sold or you take up primary residence at another property.
Where to file?
For those that live in the Houston area, here are the links to the county websites:
In which county should you apply? It depends on where your property is located. Use this County Map as a reference, or contact me if you have any questions.
When to file?
You have from January 1st to April 30th of the tax year to file your homestead exemption.
Why does the homestead exemption matter to you? Simple: it is free, takes just a few minutes to fill out, and it lowers your property taxes!
Filing the homestead exemption can only benefit you – don’t miss out on this great opportunity to lower your property taxes. I recommend reaching out to a Professional Tax Consultant or Attorney for any legal advice if needed.
Any questions? Give me a call. I would be more than happy to assist. If I can’t answer the question I will find a resource who can.
Have a blessed 2020!