Claiming Texas Homestead is important and will save you money
If you bought a Texas home in 2018, now is the time to file for you Texas Homestead Exemption. It will save you money. A quick estimate would be approximately 15-16% of you total Tax Bill.
The basic rules of filing for the Homestead Exemption are
- Complete the Form and mail After Jan. 1 2019 and Before April 30th 2019
- Enclose copy of your Texas Drivers License showing your current property address
- The property is used as your Primary residence.(Investment/Rental properties are not allowed )
- ( In 2013 the requirement for a Vehicle Registration with the primary address was dropped from Requirements )
Once you complete the form and send in, you will never need to refile again.
Just a Note for recent home buyers. As with all the other junk mail you received after you closed on your new home. You most likely will get mail with offers to file your homestead for a fee. These junk mail offers may come in email, or through postage, but either way they will ask the same information you would also provide on the Free Form. So just throw away the spam, junk mail for Homestead and file your own for only the cost of a stamp and envelope.
If you had not filed in previous years and are filing now, then you may be eligible for back years, but this is a case by case and you need to ask nicely. Sometimes there are special instances that may have caused you to not file. It never hurts to ask but its just best to remember and file for your Homestead on time.
What does filing for Homestead do for you other than lowering taxes?
It generally protects a primary residence from forced sale -- that is, having to sell the home to pay off creditors. The exemption was designed to help a surviving spouse and children keep their home. It also protects a debtor's residence if the debtor files for bankruptcy.