You Can Now File Your Homestead Tax Exemption
It wasn’t all that long ago when we mentioned getting your paperwork in order for things like the Homestead Tax Exemption and now that we have moved into 2014, it’s time to file. If you bought a home in 2013 and you were living in that home on January 1, 2014, you may now apply for your Homestead Tax Exemption and a break on your property taxes. Remember, the home must be your primary residence and you may not claim homestead on multiple homes.
How does the Homestead Tax Exemeption work?
Let’s say you own a house that the local appraisal district has given a tax valuation of $100,000. The property tax you pay is calculated based off of this $100,000. If you were given a $15,000 exemption (the value on the homestead tax exemption was raised to $25,000 in 2015), your new property tax bill would be calculated based on a tax valuation of $85,000 ($100,000 tax valuation minus the $15,000 exemption = the new tax valuation of $85,000).
You must live in the home as of January 1, 2014. Many people forget to file for a homestead tax exemption because they may have bought a house on January 2, 2013, but were not eligible to file until 2014.
To file for your exemption, you must fill out the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption (PDF file) and send it to your local appraisal district. Be sure to read the form carefully and provide all the items requested when filing the form. You may also use this form to claim a Age 65 or Older/Disabled Exemption and a 100% Disabled Veteran Exemption.
Watch out for scams!
It is completely free to file for your Homestead Tax Exemption. You will more than likely receive mail now or in the near future telling you to file and asking for money to do so. While there are legitimate companies that will file this form for you for a fee, they are totally unnecessary as it is free to file. Many of these letters are deceiving and look very official, but we can’t stress it enough – filing a Homestead Tax Exemption is free and you should not pay anyone to file it for you. These companies more or less will charge you (we’ve seen the fee as high as $65) to basically put a stamp on your completed form for you. Please don’t fall for it! If you need assistance with the form, please contact your real estate agent and they should be more than happy to help.
image courtesy of mookielove