For many Texans, a home is often the largest purchase they will ever make. The state of Texas offers citizens an easy way to save money on their property taxes through a homestead exemption. By filing a homestead exemption, eligible Texas homeowners can reduce the taxes owed on their home by a certain percentage or dollar amount. Want to know how to apply? Check out our guide below to learn more about Texas Homestead Exemptions.
Who is Eligible for a Homestead Exemption?
Any homeowner who files an exemption on their primary residence they were living in as of January 1st of the tax year when they are applying is eligible for a homestead exemption. There are special exceptions for anyone 65 years of age or older, as well as those who are disabled.
What Do You Need to Apply for a Homestead Exemption?
All you need to file your Texas Homestead Exemption is an application from your county of residence, a photo ID and proof of residence. For most Texans, your proof of residence is your driver's license or state-issued identification with the physical address of the property for which you’re applying the exemption listed. You can update your address on your driver's license or ID through the Texas Department of Transportation.
How to Apply
1. Complete the Application
You must file an application with your county of residence. If you are married, only list one person as the primary homeowner. If you are 65 years of age or older, or disabled, be sure to follow the special instructions detailed within the application. Click the links below to access the homestead exemption application for your county of residence:
- Travis County Homestead Exemption
- Hays County Homestead Exemption
- Williamson County Homestead Exemption (Online)
- Williamson County Homestead Exemption (Paper)
- Caldwell County Homestead Exemption
2. Include Proof of Residency Documents
If you are married, make sure the documents match the information for the person listed as the primary owner on the application. Applicants who are ages 65 or older or disabled may require additional documents to be included with their application.
3. Submit the Application
You may mail, fax or hand deliver your application to the county appraisal district where your property is located. You can find the address, phone number and fax number for your appraisal district on the Texas Comptroller’s website. It’s free to apply and the deadline is April 30th.
You've Filed Your Application, Now What?
After you’ve submitted your application, it can take four to six weeks for any action to be taken. If your application is rejected, you will be notified and given the opportunity to challenge the decision. The amount of your exemption depends on a number of factors, including where your home is located and how much it is worth. All school districts in the state of Texas grant a reduction of $25,000 from your home's value. Travis County offers exemptions of up to 20% of your home's value. Each homestead exemption situation is unique. If you have any questions regarding your situation, contact your county appraisal district's office.
After your exemption is accepted, you don’t have to apply again the following tax year. A homestead exemption lasts as long as you live in that residence. If you move to a new home, the exemption on your old home expires and you will need to file a new homestead exemption for your new residence.
Should you have any questions about the Texas Homestead Exemption, please refer to the application for your county of residence or visit the Texas Comptroller’s website.