A Texas Homestead Exemption can help you save a lot on your taxes.

It’s time again to start thinking about tax season. It may not be your favorite time of the year, but tax season can bring some pretty sweet perks for homeowners who bought a home in Texas in the previous year.

Starting January 1st until April 30 of the tax year, every homeowner has the opportunity to submit an application for the Residential Homestead Exemption. To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions when filing your exemption, along with all the resources you will need to get started today!

What is a homestead exemption?

The Homestead Exemption is essentially an exemption from property taxes that can be claimed by homeowners on their primary residence. It removes part of your home’s value from taxation, lowering your taxes.

Who qualifies?

These requirements must be met to receive the exemption:

  1. You must own your home on January 1st of the year for which you are applying. (If you are over 65 and/or disabled, January 1st ownership and residency are not required.)
  2. You must reside at the home as your principal residence on January 1st of that year, and not claim any other property as homestead.
  3. Only individual homeowners (not corporations or other entities) may receive a homestead exemption.
  4. A homestead can be a house, condominium or a manufactured home. It can include up to 20 acres, if the land is also owned by the homeowner and used as a yard, or for another purpose related to the residential use of the home.
  5. You must apply between January 1st and April 30th of the year for which you want the exemption.

How do homeowners apply?

Applying for homestead exemptions in Texas is fairly straightforward, assuming you meet the basic eligibility requirements mentioned above. All you have to do is file a bit of paperwork.

The process can vary slightly from one county to the next. But in general, it works like this:

  1. Visit the tax appraisal website for your county to find any specific instructions.
  2. Obtain a copy of the “Application of Residential Homestead Exemption” (a.k.a., Property Tax Form 50-114) from your local appraisal district.
  3. Complete the application with the required information about yourself and the property you’re claiming as a primary residence.
  4. Submit the form in accordance with instructions provided by your appraisal district.
  5. Provide any additional items your district might require (e.g., copy of driver’s license).
  6. Follow up with your local appraisal district if you don’t receive any confirmation.

To learn more: If you have additional questions about this subject, you can refer to the “property tax exemptions” section of the Texas comptroller’s office. Their site offers more information on the topics covered above, along with a helpful FAQ section. You can find it with a quick Google search. You’ll also want to visit the “appraisal district” website for your particular county.