It’s time to start thinking about property taxes and your possible homestead tax exemptions to these property taxes. If you bought a home in the past year or have never filed for your homestead tax exemption, the period to file is 1/1 to 04/30 of each year. If you bought your home in 2016 or before and live in your home on January 1st, 2017 to now, you can apply for a homestead tax exemption. The home must be your primary residence (ie, you can’t claim multiple homestead tax exemptions for multiple properties) as long as you live in the home on that date, you can file to receive this break on your property tax.
The homestead tax exemption lowers the taxable value of your home. In example if you have a house that has a appraisal district tax valuation of $100,000 and you get a $15,000 exemption the property tax you pay is based on a value of $85,000 ($100,000 minus $15,000), effectively lowering the tax owed to the country each year. You can claim only 1 year in the past so you must file now. All the form really does is confirm your taxing county, your property, who owns it and you check off the exemption that apply to you.
In order to claim the homestead tax exemption, you must fill out the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption and send it into your local appraisal district. Example - Fort Bend Appraisal District or Harris County Appraisal District. Be sure to fill out the form completely and read the instructions carefully – there is 1 item that you are required to furnish per exemption type in addition to the completed form. The main thing is you MUST HAVE your state issued ID or DL match the address of the property you are seeking homestead exemption on. If you need to change your address and you are a U.S Citizen you can do this online via DPS otherwise you must visit the local DPS to do the address change in person.
BE AWARE OF SCAMS.If you’ve bought a home in the past year, you’ll probably get some mail from companies who will offer to file this paperwork for you and make sure you get your homestead tax exemption. Do not use these companies or send them any money. Filing your homestead tax exemption is free and these companies simply take your forms and drop them off at the appraisal district – something you can do just as easily for the cost that they will charge you. Many of the letters are rather deceiving in the way they’re written, making you think you need to pay their fee in order to receive the exemption. So please, be aware and contact Forza if you need help filing the form.