What better way to start off the new year than by finding ways to possibly save yourself thousands of dollars? You can do this by filing a homestead exemption.

Now you may ask, what is a homestead? A homestead can be a “condominium or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it.” It can include up to 20 acres if you also own that land and use it for residential purposes.

By filing a homestead exemption in Texas on your principal residence, you can remove part of your home’s value from taxation, which in turn lowers your taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $200,000 and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption (this happens to be the amount mandated for school districts), you will pay school taxes on your home as if it was only worth $175,000. Taxing units have the option to provide other exemptions of up to 20% of the total value.

Not all home qualify for homestead exemptions. You must meet the definition of a “residence homestead”: You must be an individual (not a corporation or business entity) and use your home as your primary residence on January 1st of the tax year. The only exception to this is if you are 65+ years old or disabled. Then the January 1st ownership and residency are not required.

The timeline to file for a homestead exemption is between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year. You may also file for late Homestead Exemption for up to one year after the date which the taxes become delinquent.

Homestead Exemption Required Documents

Your Homestead Exemption will not be approved unless all of the required documents show the address of the home you’re filing for. See the list below for ways to file a homestead exemption:

Hays County

Download PDF Application HERE and mail to:

  • Hays Central Appraisal District
    Lex Word Building
    21001 IH 35 North, Kyle, TX 78640

OR

  • Email completed PDF application and copy of drivers license with new address on it to info@hayscad.com

Travis County

Download PDF Application HERE and mail to:

  • Travis Central Appraisal District
    PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012

OR

  • File online by requesting an Owner ID and PIN by calling 512-834-9317. Select option 4 for general questions.