Time to file for your homestead exemption

By
Real Estate Agent with Plantation and Coventry Homes

t's that time.... if you bought a new home and closed by December 31 and moved in by January 1, you can claim the homestead exemption.

There are two benefits in filing homestead. One is to prevent a forced sale of the homeowner's primary residence in the case of foreclosure or bankruptcy. Your primary residence can be valued at any dollar amount and must be less than 10 acres in an urban area and 100 acres in rural.

The second perk is saving you thousands and thousands on your tax appraised value and will decrease the taxes you will owe. The deadline for filing is April 30. Where can you get the forms to send to the appropriate taxing authorities?

Collin County homestead form:

http://www.collincad.org/collinhomesteadblank.pdf

Dallas County homestead forms:

http://www.dallascad.org/Forms/

Denton County homestead form:

http://tax.dentoncounty.com/main.asp?Parent=556&Link=215


Not all homes qualify for the homestead exemption. Only a homeowner's principal residence qualifies. To qualify, a home must meet the definition of a residence homestead: The home's owner must be an individual (for example: not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. If you are age 65 or older, the January 1 ownership and residency are not required for the age 65 homestead exemption.

If you temporarily move away from the home, you still can qualify for an exemption if you don’t establish another principal residence and intend to return in a period of less than two years. Homeowners in military service outside the U.S. or in a facility providing services related to health, infirmity or aging may exceed the two-year period.

 

Beware: there are companies that will try to bill you for filing homestead and it comes in an official looking envelope. You do not need to pay for this service. It is completely free and forms are available at the above links. If you ever receive such a solicitation letter and want to verify its authenticity, you may call the Consumer Protection Division at the Texas Attorney General's Office at (800) 621-0508.

Comments (11)

Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Terri:  You have done homeowners a great service by writing this post.  And... the links for downloading the homestead exemption forms are great.  By the way... with you being in Irving, you might want to also provide the link for Tarrant County because you are so close to it.  Thanks for sharing...

Jan 18, 2009 09:32 PM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Thanks for the reminder Terri, and glad to see you back blogging!

Jan 19, 2009 01:05 AM
Rob and Camille Di Maio
San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy - San Antonio, TX

This is good thing to send out to your SOI.

Jan 19, 2009 02:01 AM
Terri Hayley
Plantation and Coventry Homes - Dallas, TX

Thanks Karen. Will do in the future.

 

Jan 19, 2009 03:03 AM
Terri Hayley
Plantation and Coventry Homes - Dallas, TX

Karen - you betcha! DH has been in the hospital. We've had quite a ride. ;)

Jan 19, 2009 03:03 AM
Terri Hayley
Plantation and Coventry Homes - Dallas, TX

Rob & Camille - it went out in this month's newsletter. Feel free to send out to whomever you'd like as well. :)

Jan 19, 2009 03:04 AM
David Jirasek
Jirasek Realty, LLC - Temple, TX
ALC, CCIM

Also, don't forget, a homestead application can be filed late. It can be filed late after the May 1st deadline, and get full credit for the current year. If you file after the taxes are sent out, you have up to a year after the taxes are paid, or go delinquent, to get a refund, or have taxes adjusted. This is found in Section 11.431 of the Property Tax Code. This information may not be freely offered by clerks when filing an application, as it does add more paperwork on the staff. This is a little confusing. I hope I have worded it correctly.

Mar 30, 2009 12:57 PM
Victoria Murphy
Sotheby's International Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, NM

Terri,

Great information.  Thank you so much for reminding and keeping us informed.

Victoria

Apr 03, 2009 07:06 AM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles UnlimitedĀ® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

I hadn't read this recently, thank you for posting.  I find your blog useful for this kind of information.

Jan 24, 2010 04:28 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Terri:  Also... now is the time that some of these scamming companies send out offers to file for the Homestead Exemption for the homeowners, and charge a fee for it.  It is a scam.  The homeowner can file themselves very easily, and it is free.

Jan 24, 2010 01:25 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Terri:  Also... now is the time that some of these scamming companies send out offers to file for the Homestead Exemption for the homeowners, and charge a fee for it.  It is a scam.  The homeowner can file themselves very easily, and it is free.

Jan 24, 2010 01:25 PM