If you bought a new home and moved in recently, don't forget to apply for your homestead exemption on form 50-114. Apart from the general homestead exemption of $100,000, you get several other reductions on your appraised value. Homestead exemption also caps your annual appraised value increase.
Keep a scanned copy of your Texas Driver's License handy when you begin your homestead exemption application. Make sure your DL reflects your new home address.
Most counties have the homestead exemption form online. Applying for the homestead exemption is FREE and easy. DO NOT PAY anyone to fill up and/or file your homestead exemption. You can do it yourself from the comfort of your home! This guide will help answer some questions you may have. Reach out to your county's appraisal district if you have a special situation not covered in the form instructions. They are the best people to guide you.
The very first question on the homestead exemption application pertains to late homestead application. In case you forgot to file for your homestead exemption when you moved in, you can claim homestead exemption retroactively for up to two years Check "Yes" and mention the previous years that you are claiming homestead exemptions for.
An important question in Section 1 of the form is to confirm that you are claiming homestead exemption for your primary residence. Remember that as per Texas Tax Code, homestead exemption is available only for your primary residence. If you claim "No" on this question, then you are not eligible to claim homestead exemption on this property.
Texas law does not allow property owners to transfer their general residence homestead exemption. They have to apply afresh for their general residence homestead exemption on their new home the following year. Over 65 and disabled exemptions and tax ceiling can be transferred though. If you are transferring your over-65 or disabled exemption, you can check the three boxes related to it:
Provide the name, date of birth, TDL number (or SSN) of the owners along with percent ownership. If you are an unmarried couple, select "Other" and list out your ownership percentages.
Provide the address of the property for which you are claiming homestead exemption, the date of purchase (this will generally be the date on the deed) and date you moved in to your new home. You can find the legal description of your property on your appraisal district website. Providing it is optional. You can still submit your application without legal description.
If you are the sole owner or partial owner of the property, your name will be listed on the sale deed. Click "Yes" and provide the deed number. You can find the deed number on your deed papers. You can also look them up on your county clerk's website. If your ownership is not on record, then you need to provide a notarized affidavit on Form 50-114-A affirming your ownership interest in the property.
This is applicable if this is an heir-property. If any portion of your property is let-out/income producing, that needs to be mentioned in this section.
If you are a U.S. Armed Services member on active duty, you can request for waiver of the required documentation. If you need to provide any additional information, you may do so in section 5. You may then sign and submit your Texas Homestead Exemption application.
Typically, most appraisal districts process homestead exemption applications in 4 to 6 weeks. But during the protest hearings season (March through July), your county appraisal district may take more time to process the application. If you applied during the protest season, your homestead applications take several months to be processed. Hence, our recommendation is that you apply for your homestead exemption as soon as you move in and have your Texas DL address updated.
Beginning 2022, new homeowners can apply for homestead exemption anytime of the year.
If the chief appraiser requires more information, you will be contacted via your email or phone. Keep an eye on your email inbox.
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