What is a homestead exemption? Do you qualify? How do you apply? When do you apply?

It’s tax season and if you purchased a new home on or before January 1st, you may have heard of a little thing called a homestead exemption. But, if you’ve been asking yourself the questions above, you’re not alone. Many new homeowners miss out on filing for their exemption due to lack of knowledge, and ultimately end up paying more in property taxes than they needed to. To make sure you don’t miss out on this important tax break, keep reading to find out more about homestead exemptions and how you can apply for one. 


What is a Homestead Exemption?

A homestead exemption removes part of your home’s value from taxation, thus reducing your tax bill for the year. So, if your home appraised for $300,000 and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on your home as if it were worth $275,000. Exemptions are granted by the County Appraisal District where your home is located. All Texas homeowners qualify for a $25,000 General Residence Homestead Exemption from their home’s value for school taxes. There are also other exemptions for homeowners who are over 65 or disabled and depending on where you live, you may qualify for additional exemptions of some percentage of your home’s value. 


Do You Qualify For A Homestead Exemption? 

You can qualify for a homestead exemption if:

1. You own a homestead. A homestead can be a house, condo, or manufactured home that includes up to 20 acres of land. (The land must also be owned by the homeowner and used as a yard, or for another purpose related to the residential use of the home.) 

2. You owned your home on or before January 1st of the year for which you are applying.

3. You reside in the home and it is your principal residence on or before January 1st of the year for which you are applying. 

4. You do not own any other property that you are already claiming as your homestead and getting an exemption for. 

5. You are an individual homeowner, not a corporation or other entity.


How Do You Apply For A Homestead Exemption?

You can apply for your homestead exemption with the County Appraisal District in which you reside. Your application will be denied if all of the required documents do not show the same homestead address. You  must also submit a copy of your driver’s license with your application and the address on your license must match the address of the property for which you are applying for an exemption.  Applications are due by April 30th.  


Find Your County’s Appraisal District

Travis County
Click here to download the application for Travis County
File Online: Call 512-834-9317 and select Option #4 to request a PIN to file online.
File Via Email: Email your application to CSinfo@tcadcentral.org. If filing via email you must print the form, sign it, and scan it as a PDF to send as an attachment, or an electronic signature will be accepted if it has an IP address attached. Don’t forget to also attach a copy of your Driver’s License!
File Via Mail: Mail application and copy of driver’s license to: P.O. BOX 149012, Austin, TX 78714

Williamson County
Click here to submit your application online

Hay County
Click here to submit your application online

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.