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Texas Homestead Exemptions: What They Are and When to File

After paying off last year’s Texas property taxes, you might be looking for ways to lower your property tax bill for the following year. One way to do this is through filing for a residence homestead exemption. Below, you can learn all about Texas homestead exemptions, how they work, and when to file.

What is a Texas Homestead Exemption?

An exemption is simply one of the many Texas tax breaks for qualifying homeowners, lessening the amount of property taxes you will owe. One of the most common types of exemptions is the General Homestead Exemption. Section 11.13(b) of the state’s tax code requires public school districts to offer a $40,000 exemption on “residence homesteads” located within their districts. For example, if your home is appraised at $300,000, and you qualify for a $40,000 exemption, you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $260,000,” according to the Texas Comptroller.

Other sections of the tax code offer similar exemptions:

  • Texas Tax Code Section 11.13(a) – requires counties that collect farm-to-market or flood control taxes to offer a $3,000 residence homestead exemption.
  • Texas Tax Code Section 11.13(n) – allows the county taxing unit the option to decide locally to offer a separate residence homestead exemption of up to 20 percent of a property’s appraised value, but not less than $5,000.
  • To learn about the types of property exemptions in Texas, read our blog here.

What Qualifies as Texas Residence Homestead?

According to the Texas Comptroller, “a residence homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it.” This can include up to 20 acres of land, only if it is used for residential purposes. It’s important to note that you cannot have more than one Texas homestead and the homeowner must be an individual and cannot be a business entity or corporation to qualify.

When Can I File for a Residence Homestead Exemption?

As of January 1, 2022, individuals may now file for a homestead exemption immediately upon closing on their property, as long as an exemption has not been filed for that tax year already. This means you can file anytime, however, the deadline for your completed application and documentation is no later than April 30th of the tax year for which you are applying.

If you are looking to file for an exemption this tax year, the deadline is fast approaching, so you will want to file as soon as possible. For more information about property tax exemptions and for the forms to apply visit https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/exemptions/.

Need Help with Your Texas Property Tax Bill?

If you are someone who received residence homestead exemptions but is still struggling to pay off your Texas property tax bill, we may be able to help you. At Johnson & Starr, our team is backed by professionals who have years of experience working with Texas tax property loans. Contact us today and an experienced loan officer will help walk you through your options.