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Filing Your Residential Homestead Exemption for 2013

 
I
n order to file your Homestead Exemption and reduce your taxes, you must have purchased and occupied your home by December 31, 2013 (or December 31st of the previous year), the home must be your primary residence, you cannot currently claim Homestead on a different property, and you must be an individual (not a business entity).

Why Do I Need to File for the Homestead Exemption?

Homestead exemption laws typically have four primary features:
 
  1. Provide an exemption/reduction in your property taxes.
  2. Prevent the forced sale of a home to meet the demands of creditors. Homestead exemptions do not apply for failure to pay mortgage, taxes, or HOA dues.
  3. Allows a tax-exempt homeowner to vote on property tax increases proposed in that area.
  4. Grants a surviving spouse, minor children, and/or unmarried children of a deceased homeowner the right of occupancy
In this blog, we will concentrate on the reduction in property taxes and how to file for your Homestead Exemption.

How Much Will It Reduce My Taxes?

Once you file for the Homestead Exemption on your home, the taxing authorities (school district, county, and MUD district if applicable) removes part of the taxable value from your property in turn lowering the amount of the home you are taxed on.
 
Exemption amounts will vary from area to area based on the school district, MUD, age of the neighborhood or section of the neighborhood, and county. Please verify with your county for the exact amount of the deduction that you will receive.

When Do I File?

You must file between January 1st and April 30th 2014. If you do not file in this time period you will have to wait until the same time the following year, therefore losing out on your deduction for an entire year. Once you file, you do not have to file again for the same residence.

How Do I File?

In order to prevent a home owner from filing a Homestead exemption on multiple properties that he/she owns, a new law was passed in September 2011 requiring additional documentation to be submitted. This bill requires that the homeowner submit the following:

  1. Application for Residence Homestead Exemption.
  2. Copy of Drivers License (must match the home address in which you are filing the Homestead Exemption)
  3. Copy of applicants vehicle registration (must match the home address in which you are filing the Homestead Exemption).
If you would like to read more about the 2011 changes to the Residence Homestead Exemption and/or need further information on updating your vehicle registration and Texas driver’s license Click Here.

Instructions for Filing in:

Harris County - Print out the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption in Harris County, fill it out, attach the required documentation, and mail it to:
 
Harris County Appraisal District
P.O. Box 922012
Houston, Texas 77292
 
For more information about filing your Homestead, frequently asked questions, and a complete list of the types of Homestead exemptions available in Harris County, CLICK HERE to visit the Harris County Appraisal District's website.
 
For a complete list of HCAD forms Click Here
 
Fort Bend County - Print out the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption in Fort Bend County, fill it out, attach the required documentation, and mail it to:
 
Fort Bend Central Appraisal District
2801 B.F. Terry Blvd.
Rosenberg, Texas 77471-5600
 
If you would like more information and answers to your frequently asked questions about the Fort Bend County Appraisal District Click Here
 
For a complete list of FBCAD forms Click Here
 
Please do not hesitate to call or email us with any questions!
 
Jenny S. Becker, Realtor, ABR
Cell: (832) 594-1265
Email: jennyshepherd@remax.net
 
Diane Kiecke, Realtor, AHLS, ABR
Cell: (281) 773-6884
Email: dianekiecke@remax.net
 
 
 

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