If you purchased a new residence in 2019, you might qualify for the Residence Homestead exemption. If your mailing address matches the location address of the new Residence (you already changed your address on your driver license) you will receive a letter with important information regarding the tax savings and the application requirements for this exemption. But, please be very careful, as there are many scams mailing out letters with the form 50-114 and charging $45 to file it!
There is no cost to apply for a homestead exemption and you can do it online or even use an app in certain counties, including Harris. There is no fee and you do not need to pay a third party to obtain your homestead exemption. Complete the form and include a copy of your driver’s license or state-issued identification to confirm the address. Citizenship is not a requirement.
A homestead exemption form can be downloaded at https://comptroller.texas.gov/forms/50-114.pdf
What is a Homestead Exemption?
A homestead exemption helps you save money on your home tax. An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. For example, if your home is valued at $100,000 and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you pay taxes on your home as if it was worth only $80,000.
You must first qualify as a residence homestead on January 1st of the year in which you are applying. Deadline: January 1st – April 30th.
In order to qualify for the Texas homestead exemption, the homeowner must own and occupy the property as their principal residence by January 1 of the year in which they are applying for the exemption.
It also stipulates that neither the homeowner nor their spouse can already have claimed a residence homestead exemption on any other property.
For the property itself to qualify for a homestead exemption, it must be owned by an individual and not by a company or business.
1. Fill out the application specific to your county appraisal district, then mail all of the documents to the appraisal district for your county.
2. Download Residential Homestead Exemption Application for your county.
3. Include a copy of your driver’s license or ID card.
What Homestead Exemptions are available?
It is also important to note that if a Texas homeowner temporarily moves away from their home, that they can still qualify for the homestead exemption, as long as they don’t establish another principal residence, and intend on returning to the property within two years.
For more information on homestead exemptions in Texas, please visit the Texas Comptroller’s Office website at: https://comptroller.texas.gov/ or contact your local county’s appraisal district.
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