Happy New Year!!!  It is time to gather our 2018 files and prepare to file taxes.  If you are a new home owner, you may wonder if a homestead exemption is for you.  If so, where do you get an application and how do you file?  Allow me to shed some light on this …

In certain states including Texas a homestead exemption will help protect a homeowner’s principal residence from creditors and will also affect your property taxes. Under the homestead exemption, creditors cannot force you to sell your home to satisfy a debt (this does not pertain to mortgage foreclosure or defaulted property taxes).  For example, a company financing your car loan cannot force a sale of your home to pay for the defaulted automobile loan.  Another advantage of homesteading is it will shield a portion of your home’s value from property taxes.  Typically it will shield the first $25,000 to $75,000 of the value from property taxes only requiring you to pay for the remainder of the assessed value.  In other words, if your home’s county assessment is $250,000 and your homestead exemption is for $25,000, you are only required to pay property taxes on $225,000. 

There are several partial and absolute exemptions available. Some of these exemptions include General Residential Homestead, Over 65, Over 55 Surviving Spouse, Disability Homestead, Disabled Veterans, Charitable, Religious, Freeport and Pollution Control.

For more information on Kaufman County, Texas property taxes click on the following link: http://www.kaufman-cad.org/tax-information/faq/ or google your local county appraisal district.

Applying for the homestead exemption can be done in 4 easy steps:

  • Download the application form from your appraisal district’s website–it is free to apply! Note: You must occupy the property by January 1, 2019 to apply.
  • Complete the form and attach copies of your Driver’s License. Note: The address listed on your Driver’s License must match the address of the homestead. Check with your local tax appraisal district for further information and requirements before submission.
  • Return the form to the Appraisal District by April 30, 2019.
  • The homestead exemption will remain in place as long as the owners occupy the property as their homestead. If the owners sell the property or no longer occupy the homestead, they should request a removal of the exemption. Failure to do so may result in the assessment of penalties and interest on the portion of taxes that should not have been exempted. 

In the event you wish to dispute your property’s assessed value or would like to know what your home is worth, please feel free to contact me for a free comparative market analysis by clicking on the link below.