HOW TO FILE FOR A HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTION IN HOUSTON
Filing for a Texas homestead exemption can save you quite a bit of money here in Houston. Texas property taxes are high enough as it is, because we don’t have state income tax. So every bit of savings you can get adds up quickly! But what exactly is a homestead exemption? Who qualifies?
WHAT IS A HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTION
A homestead is a property that is owned as your primary residence in the form of a manufactured home, single family home, or a condominium. It can also include up to 20 acres of land. Filing for a homestead exemption removes part of your homes value from being taxed; meaning you pay lower property taxes.
For example, let’s say your home is worth $300,000 and you qualify for the mandated school tax reduction of $25,000. You will only pay school taxes as if the property is worth $275,000 instead of $300,000.
WHAT HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
There are several different types of exemptions that you may be eligible to qualify for. Let’s review them.
School Taxes: Homestead owners are allowed a $25,000 reduction from their homes value for school taxes as mentioned above.
County Taxes: If a county you reside in collects special tax for FM roads or flood control, you are allowed a $3,000 tax reduction.
65 or Older & Disabled Person Exemptions: In addition to the $25,000 exemption you receive for school taxes, if you are 65 years or older or a disabled person you can qualify for $10,000 on top of the $25,000.
DOES EVERY HOME QUALIFY FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS?
No. Only a homeowners primary residence qualifies. So you can’t get a homestead exemption on your secondary home, investment property or vacation rentals.
HOW DO I FILE AND WHEN IS THE DEADLINE?
You need to fill out the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption and submit all supporting documentation to the appraisal district where the property is located. If you are in the Houston region that could mean several different counties. Below are the links to the appraisal districts for the counties located in the Houston area.
To get approved for a homestead exemption you need to submit the completed application and required documents to the proper appraisal district no later than April 30th of the tax year you are applying for. Don’t worry though, this is one and done. You won’t have to keep applying every year. The homestead exemption will stay with you until it is no longer your primary residence.
If you need assistance with filling out your exemption form or have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will help you the best we can.
If you are ready to purchase a home, schedule an appointment with us to get your search started!