Exemptions keep you from paying taxes on a portion of your home value. The Homestead Exemption is a two-prong exemption. The first prong allows some of the entities that tax your property to apply a discount to your taxable value. For example, most school districts will apply a $25,000 discount to your taxable value. The second prong of the homestead exemption is the homestead cap. If your property meets the criteria for the homestead cap, then the amount you can be taxed on is limited to a 10% year over year increase. If the year over year increase is less than 10% the homestead cap will reflect as $0. While the first prong of the homestead exemption starts as soon as your application for the exemption is approved by the central appraisal district, the second prong does not kick in until you have owned the property for one full calendar year (January 1st to January 1st). For example, if you purchased your home in March of 2017, the homestead cap would not be applied to the property until 2019.
In most circumstances, once you receive the exemption, you do not need to reapply (unless required by the Chief Appraiser). However, if you move, or your qualification ends, the exemption will be removed. Exemptions may also be removed if there is a deed change on the property, such as a divorce, or if the property is moved into a trust. If the deed change was due to a divorce or trust deed, the exemption can be corrected, but may require reapplication.
You can file for a Homestead Exemption at any time. If you application is postmarked by April 30th, the exemption can be processed in time for your property tax bill in the fall. If you file after April 30th, the exemption will be applied retroactively if you file up to one year after the tax delinquency date (typically February 1st of the following tax year).
You can apply online through your county appraisal district’s website or by mail. The exemption application and supporting documents needed to apply differs based on the exemption you qualify for, and each county has a specific process for online exemption applications. For exemption details for your county, visit the links below, or click here for more details.
To qualify, the home’s owner must be an individual (not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1st of the tax year. The mailing address on your driver’s license must match the address of the property that you are applying for.
Homeowners become eligible for the over 65 exemption in the year they turn age 65. You may apply for the exemption as early as January 1st of that year. If there are multiple people living in the property, the person aged 65 or above must be listed on the deed in order to qualify.
It can take 8-10 weeks for the appraisal district to review and approve the exemption application, it may take longer if you apply after April 15th due to the appraisal district being busy with protests. You will only be notified if the application is denied, otherwise the exemption will be simply added to your account.
The most common exemptions are homestead, over 65, disabled persons, disabled veteran, and solar. While the homestead exemption can be applied with any of these other exemptions, over 65, disabled persons and disabled veteran cannot overlap.
If your property is registered under our Essential Plus plan, Five Stone can assist with the application process. However, it is in the property owner’s best interest to fill out and submit the application themselves, as there may be personal details needed to apply that Five Stone does not have access to.
Please reference your county’s website below for a complete list of exemptions.