How to Apply for a Homestead Exemption in Texas
You can lower your home’s taxable value by filing a homestead exemption on your principal residence. School districts are required to offer $25,000 homestead exemption while other taxing units may offer additional homestead exemptions. You must own your home, use it as a primary residence and do so by January 1 of that tax year in order to qualify. You are allowed one primary residence and one homestead exemption. There are several different types of homestead exemptions:
All residence homestead owners are allowed a $25,000 homestead exemption from their home’s value for school taxes.
Age 65 or Older or Disabled Persons
For those persons age 65 or older or disabled, the school districts offer an additional $10,000 residence homestead exemption in addition to the $25,000.
- 65+ local option exemption: Owner must be at least 65 years of age and reside in the home. Upon death, the surviving spouse can continue to receive the exemption if they are at least 55 years of age and also own and reside in the home. However, the exemption will not transfer automatically; the spouse will need to reapply.
- Disabled exemption: You meet the definition of disabled for the purpose of receiving disability insurance benefits under the Federal Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Act.
- Those that qualify for both the age 65 and older and disabled must choose which exemption to claim, you cannot receive both exemptions.
Any taxing unit (i.e., city, county, school, or special district) has the option to offer an exemption of up to 20 percent of a home’s taxable value, but no less than $5,000. This percentage is in addition to any other home exemption for which an owner qualifies.
100% Residence Homestead Exemption for Disabled Veterans
To qualify for a 100% exemption on the total appraised value of the veteran’s residence homestead, you must receive 100% disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100% disabled or of individual un-employability from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Surviving spouses are also entitled to this exemption (with certain restrictions) if the disabled veteran did or would have qualified for the exemption at the time of death.
Surviving Spouses of Members of the U.S. Armed Services Killed in Action
Surviving spouses of those in the U.S. armed services who are killed in action are entitled to a 100% property tax exemption on their residence homestead as long as the surviving spouse does not remarry.
The Application for Residence Homestead Exemption is required to apply for a homestead exemption. You can WebFile or use the downloadable PDF reports from the website. The form must be completed and submitted to the appropriate appraisal office no sooner that January 1 but no later than April 30. You will only need to reapply for that same residence if the appraisal office notifies you in writing. You will need to fill out another application if you move to a new home or if you pass your 65th birthday before January 1. If you have any questions about how to complete and submit this form, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
For more information, please contact your County Appraisal District. We’ve provided links to local Texas appraisal districts: