Homestead Exemption FAQs
What is homestead under homestead exemption laws?
A homestead is an independent structure, mobile home, or a condominium that is located either on owned land or leased land. A homestead can include up to 20 acres in some areas and must be used for residential purposes. However, it is mandatory that the resident must own it.
What is homestead exemption?
Homestead exemption is a method of lowering taxes by reducing the market value of one's home in the process of computing property tax. The primary benefit of homestead exemption reflects on your property tax. Once you qualify for homestead exemption on your principal residence, a part of the value of the property is removed from taxation. This in effect lowers your property taxes. For example, if you qualify for a $20000 exemption on your home, the assessed value of which is $45,000, you will be required to pay taxes on the home only for $25,000.
Do all homes come under the purview of homestead exemptions?
No, all homes do not qualify for homestead exemption. For a house to qualify for homestead deduction, it must be the principal residence of the homeowner on the first day of the financial year. The owner should also not be a corporation or a business entity, but an individual.
Can you tell me how to homestead my residence?
In order to exempt your homestead, you have to file an application for residential homestead exemption and claim homeowner tax exemption. The exemption application must be filed before the county appraiser (also known as property appraisers/tax appraisers) during the period from January 1st through April 30th of the relevant tax year. In case you are late, you have time until one year from the date your taxes became delinquent. In case you become disabled or turn 65 years old in the course of the tax year, you will have to apply for such an exemption, ie; 65 or older or disabled exemption, within one year of the date of qualification. Once you receive an exemption, reapplication is not required as long as the property appraiser does not send you a new application. If the property appraiser sends you a new application, you must file it. If you happen to move out of the home or in the event your qualification ends, please make sure to inform the appraisal district. While some states require that a home owner should file a homestead exemption application form, some states provide for automatic homestead tax deduction.
Will I be eligible to exempt my home from property tax if I move out of the house temporarily?
Yes, you will be eligible to receive homestead exemption if you move out only temporarily. However, make sure of the following:
- You should not set up another principal residence.
- You should have the intention to return home.
- You should not be away beyond two years.
The prohibition regarding not staying away beyond two years does not apply provided:
- 1. You work for the military service
- 2. You live in an establishment that provides health, infirmity, or aging services