Texas Property Tax Tips
    Advice and suggestions to help property owners achieve fair & equal assessments and reduce property taxes.

Filing Your Homestead Exemption - When is Too late, Too Late?

The Homestead Exemption is an excellent way to save property taxes on your residence. But when can a new homeowner or a homeowner who has never filed for a homestead exemption begin benefiting from it?

According to the Texas Property Tax Code, a homeowner must live in the house and use it as his/her primary residence on January 1 of any given year. If you purchased your home after January 1, you can not file for a homestead exemption until after January 1 but before April 30 of the following year. For example, if you purchased your home in February of 2006, you can not file for the exemption until after January 1 but before April 30, 2007. If you file within this timeframe, your entire 2007 taxes will be limited by the Homestead exemption.

However, if you've been living in your home for some time, three years, for example, and never filed for a Homestead Exemption, you can still benefit from previous years.

The delinquency date for filing a Homestead Exemption for the current year is February 1. You can file for the previous two years and receive the property tax savings. For example, if you file before February 1, 2007 and lived in your home for three years or longer, you can benefit from the Homestead Exemption for 2005 and 2006. Unfortunately, the Homestead Exemption does not apply to the other years you lived in your home.

To file for Homestead Exemption, complete the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption form. If you need assistance, please call 1-877-4-TAXCUT.

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Property Tax Tips

  • Protest every year, and use all steps in appeal process when necessary

  • Protest both market value and unequal appraisal

  • Obtain data to prepare for hearing

  • Be aggressive; demand results

About O'Connor & Associates

As Texas' largest property tax consulting firm, O'Connor & Associates has the expertise and the manpower to help you lower your property taxes. In 2007 O'Connor & Associates reduced our Harris County clients' assessed value for 75% of residential protests and 80% of commercial protests. Hire O'Connor & Associates to appeal your property taxes. You pay NOTHING unless we save you money! Visit us today at www.cutmytaxes.com.