Let me start by explaining what a homestead and a homestead exemption are in the State of Texas.
A homestead is defined in Texas as the place of residence for a family or individual.
A homestead exemption allows you remove part of the value of the property from taxation, so you reduce your taxes liability.
If your home is worth $100,000 and you qualify, you will get a $25,000 exemption meaning that you will only pay taxes on $75,000.
To qualify for the exemption the property should be in the individual’s name (not a corporation or business), and be the primary residence by January 1st of the tax year (if you buy a home in July you must wait until the following year to claim it).
There are different kinds of homestead exemptions; all residents may get a tax exemption from school taxes of $25,000 from the home’s value. The other exemptions depend on age (over 65), disability, disability for veterans, extension of exemption for a surviving spouse, and exemption for manufactured (mobil) home. You must verify to see which you can qualify for.
For over 65 or disabled homestead exemptions, the Jan 1st deadline does not apply; it can be claimed as soon as you move in and can prove residence.
As of September 1st 2011, a new rule came into effect requiring a valid Texas Drivers license (the address should be that of the property you are applying for), or a Texas state-issued identification card; and a copy of a vehicle registration receipt to be submitted with the homestead application. If you do not own a vehicle, you must provide a utility bill with your name on it, and the same address, of course.
If you are married and have a homestead exemption on your home and you either get divorced or your husband or wife passes you will need to submit a new homestead exemption form. If you don’t the county might come back collect 50% of the exemption. Do not leave it up to the County, do it.
If you have any questions please refer to the following links where you will find a more detailed explanation about each of the exemptions available and the form to submit them. Do not forget the deadline is April 30th.
To get the form:
For even more detailed information on homestead expeditions please follow this link below: