A: You may apply for homestead exemptions on your principal residence. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, so they lower your taxes.
For example, your home is appraised at $100,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption (this is the amount mandated for school districts), you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $85,000. Taxing units have the option to offer a separate exemption of up to 20 percent of the total value.
A: No, 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.
A: A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium, or manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A homestead can include up to 20 acres if the land is owned by the homeowner and used as a yard or for another purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.
A: There are several types of exemptions you may receive.
A: You may file an Application for Residential Homestead Exemption with your appraisal district for the $15,000 homestead exemption up to one year after the taxes on the homestead are due. Once you receive the exemption, you do not need to reapply unless the chief appraiser sends you a new application. In that case, you must file the new application. If you should move or your qualification ends, you must inform the appraisal district in writing before the next May 1st. A list of appraisal district addresses and phone numbers is available online.
A: You may apply to the appraisal district up to one year after the date you turn 65 or qualify for disability, or up to one year after the taxes are due, whichever is later. If your application is approved, you will receive the exemption for the entire year in which you turn 65 or become disabled and for subsequent years as long as you own a qualified homestead. Beginning in 2005, if your date of birth was on your original homestead application or other written correspondence to the appraisal district about your homestead you will automatically receive the 65 or older exemption without applying if you are entitled to the general homestead exemption.
A: You are eligible for this exemption if you can’t engage in gainful work because of a physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and can’t engage in your previous work because of blindness. To qualify, you must meet the Social Security definition for disabled. You qualify if you receive disability benefits under the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify you. To prove your eligibility, you may need to provide the appraisal district with information on disability ratings from the civil service, retirement programs, or from insurance documents, military records, or a doctor’s statement.
A: You may file for any homestead exemption up to one year after the delinquency date. The delinquency date is normally February 1st. If you are 65 or older or disabled, you qualify for the exemption on the date you become 65 or become disabled. To receive the exemption for that year, 65 or older or disabled homeowners must apply for the exemption no later than one year from the date you qualify or one year after the delinquency date, whichever is later. If you miss the deadline you may apply for the following year.
A: If you temporarily move away from your home, you may continue to receive the exemption if you do not establish a principal residence elsewhere, you intend to return to the home, and you are away less than two years. You may continue to receive the exemption if you do not occupy the residence for more than two years only if you are in military service or live in a facility providing services related to health, infirmity, or aging.
A: It is a limit on the amount of taxes you must pay on your residence. If you qualify your home for a 65 and older or disabled person homestead exemption for school taxes, the school taxes on that home can’t increase as long as you own and live in that home. The tax ceiling is the amount you pay in the year that you qualified for the 65 or older or disabled person exemption. The school taxes on your home may go below the ceiling but not above the amount of the ceiling. However, if you improve the home (other than normal repairs or maintenance), the tax ceiling may go higher because of the new additions. For example, if you add on a garage or game room to the house after you have established a tax ceiling, the ceiling will be adjusted to a higher level to reflect the value of that addition.
A: A percentage of the school tax ceiling may be transferred.
The ceiling on the new home would be calculated to give you the same percentage of tax paid as the ceiling on the original home. For example, if you currently have a tax ceiling of $100, but would pay $400 without the ceiling, the percentage of tax paid is 25 percent. If you move to another home and the taxes on the new homestead would normally be $1,000 in the first year, the new tax ceiling would be $250, or 25 percent of $1,000.
To transfer the school tax ceiling, you may request a certificate from the chief appraiser in the last appraisal district in which you received the tax ceiling. You present the transfer certificate to the chief appraiser in the district where the new home is located when you apply for homestead exemptions on the new home.
A: No, only surviving spouses (55 years of age or older) of persons who were 65 years of age or older when they died may benefit from the tax ceiling.
A: Yes, if the county commissioners court, city council, or board of the junior college district authorizes a tax limitation on the homesteads of persons 65 years of age or older or disabled. The taxing unit’s governing bodies or voters (by petition and election) may adopt the limitation. This local option exemption does not apply to other special districts such as water, hospital, etc.
A: Yes, but the home must be located within the applicable taxing unit – city, county or junior college district. The ceiling on the new home is calculated the same as the school district.
A: No, regardless of the underlying qualifications (65 and older or disabled person).
A: Yes. However, if you qualify for a homestead exemption and are not the sole owner of the property to which the homestead exemption applies, the exemption you receive is based on the interest you own. For example, you own a 50 percent interest in a homestead and will receive one half, or $7,500, of a $15,000 homestead offered by a school district.
A: No. To receive a disabled veteran exemption, you must either be a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age and unmarried) of a disabled veteran or of a member of the armed forces who was killed while on active duty.
In order to qualify for a disabled person exemption, you can’t engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and can’t engage in your previous work because of your blindness. If you receive disability benefits under the federal Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration, you will qualify for the disabled person exemption.
A: The exemption amount that a qualified disabled veteran receives depends on the veteran’s disability rating from the branch of the armed service:
10% to 30%
$5,000 from the property’s value
31% to 50%
$7,500 from the property’s value
51% to 70%
$10,000 from the property’s value
71% to 100%
$12,000 from the property’s value
The disabled veteran must be a Texas resident and must choose one property to receive the exemption.
A: Yes. The deadline for filing for a disabled veteran’s exemption is between January 1 and April 30 of the tax year. However, you may file for a disabled veteran’s exemption up to one year from the delinquency date. To file for a disabled veteran’s exemption, you must complete the Application for Disabled Veteran’s or Survivor’s Exemptions form.
A: In Texas, all property is taxable, unless exempt by state or federal law. Leased vehicles produce income for the leasing company and are taxable to the leasing company. In many leasing contracts, companies require their lessees to reimburse them for property taxes assessed on the vehicles.
Leased vehicles that are not held for the primary purpose of income production by the lessee may be exempted. These vehicles include passenger cars or trucks with a shipping weight of not more than 9,000 pounds and leased for personal use. Personal use would mean using the vehicle more than 50 percent of its use (based on mileage) for activities that do not involve the production of income. The exemption applies only to vehicles subject to a lease entered into on or after January 2, 2001. Any leased vehicles contracted before January 2, 2001, would continue to be taxed. In addition, cities that passed an ordinance before January 1, 2002, could continue to tax personal leased vehicles. The law was effective on January 1, 2002.
To qualify for the exemption, you must timely file an affidavit with the leasing company. You may print the Lessee’s Affidavit of Primarily Non-Income Producing Vehicle Use form or the leasing company could provide one for you.
To receive the exemption, the leasing company must file a Lessor’s Application for Personal Use Lease Automobile Exemptions with the county appraisal district where the property is located before April 30 of each year. The exemption application should contain all vehicles that are used primarily for personal use. If the leasing company does not file the application timely, the vehicle is not exempt for that year.
A: Yes. The religious or charitable organization may receive a property tax exemption for the year in which it purchases the qualifying property. To receive the exemption for that year, the organization has to file for the exemption within one year of acquiring the property.