Homestead Exemptions Have Changed What You Need to Know!

For all of the new home buyers this year in Texas, a few items have changed. One thing that has not changed is that you must own the home, or have closed on a home in the year prior, so December 31 2012 is the deadline for claiming your homestead exemption for 2013. The following information is off of the Dallas Central Appraisal District Website and the most notable change is that there are now two requirements for your homestead exemption. 1. Your driver’s license must reflect your address, and 2. Your vehicle registration must reflect the same address. You have until April 30th to claim your exemptions, so start getting all of your information up to date now and save yourself money!

Residence Homestead Exemption

To qualify, you must own and reside in your home on January 1 of the tax year application is made and cannot claim a homestead exemption on any other property. If you temporarily move away from your home, you still can qualify for this exemption, if you do not establish another principal residence and you intend to return within two years, or if you are a resident of a health facility, or in the military.

If the person who qualifies for an exemption is not the sole owner of the property to which the exemption applies, an application for a residence homestead exemption must be completed by each owner of the residence. Exemptions are allocated according to percent of ownership interest the applicant has in the property.

The exemption application must be completed and include:

1. A copy of the applicant’s Texas drivers license or Texas identification certificate; AND
2. A copy of the applicant’s vehicle registration receipt; OR
    a) If the applicant does not own a vehicle, an affidavit to that effect signed by the applicant; AND
    b) A copy of a utility bill in the applicant’s name for the property for which exemption is sought.

IMPORANT NOTE: The property address on the exemption application must match the address listed on the applicant’s Texas driver’s license/Texas identification certificate and vehicle registration receipt or utility bill; otherwise the Chief Appraiser is prohibited from approving the exemption.

It is a crime to make false statements on a homestead application or to file on more than one property.