Monday, January 19, 2015

Texas Property: File Your Homestead Exemption

At beginning of each year, it's time to mail in your homestead exemption form in order to receive a discount on your property taxes, should your property be eligible.  But, if the chief appraiser grants the exemption(s) in previous years, you do not need to reapply annually. However, you must notify the chief appraiser in writing if and when your right to this exemption ends.

On 01/12/2015, I have received a Form 50-114 (i.e., "Application for Residence Homestead Exemption") from my local County taxing authority. Usually this form will be mailed between January and the end of March. And, you have until 04/30 of that same year to file homestead exemption (see below). If you qualify for the age 65 or older or disabled persons exemption, you must apply for the exemption no later than the first anniversary of the date you qualify for the exemption.

Finally, filing your homestead exemption is free through your local taxing district.

Homestead Exemption

One of the easiest ways a homeowner can lower his or her property tax bill in 2015 is to file a homestead exemption. A homestead is generally the house and land used as the owner's principal residence on Jan. 1 of the tax year. Homestead exemptions reduce the appraised value of your home and, as a result, lower your property taxes.

Who qualifies for an exemption?

Anyone who owns a home on Jan. 1 and uses it as their primary residence on that date is entitled to a $15,000 homestead exemption to lower school taxes this year, and it doesn't matter if your home is a house, condominium or mobile home. Counties, cities and special taxing districts may also offer homestead exemptions.

Are other exemptions available?

Indiviauls age 65 and older, or disabled as defined by law, may qualify for an additional $10,000 school tax exemption. Also, if you qualify for the 65 or older or disabled exemption, you're entitled to a permanent, locked-in "ceiling" on the school property taxes on your home. The age 65 or older homeowners school tax ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of death and lives in and owns the home. The age 65 or older homeowners (or their surviving spouses 55 years of age or older) also may transfer the percentage of school tax paid, based on their former home's school tax ceiling, to a new home.

North Dallas Taxing Authorities

If you pay tax in two separate counties, you MUST file in both counties.[1] For example, your school district or city taxes are collected by a different county than the one you live in. Location and address information for the appraisal district office in your county may be found at [2].

Country Appraisal District Phone Email
Collin (469) 742-9200
Dallas (214) 631-0910
Denton (940) 349-3800 or
(972) 434-2602
Grayson (903) 893-9673
Rockwall (972) 771-2034
Tarrant (817) 284-0024

Based on Real Estate Agent Debi Leavvitt,[1] if you receive a survey from the County or City asking you what you paid for your home, you do not have to disclose this information.[4] Only your loan amount was recorded by the title company. This may help you keep your taxes down a little longer. But some may want to disclose this if it works in your favor.

Note that all applicants are required to include a copy of their Texas driver's license or state issued identification card according to Texas Property Tax Code Section 11.43. The address shown must match the address for which the exemption is sought. Failure to send the required documentation will result in the exemption being denied.


  1. File Your Homestead Exemption for 2014! by Debi Leavitt (
  2. Contact Your Appraisal District (Texas)
  3. Property Tax Assistance (Texas)
  4. Example of Survey letter from County Appraisal District
    • Currently, the State of Texas does not have a disclosure law, Therefore, the County Appraisal District is conducting an ongoing survey of real estate sales and asks for your assistance in supplying of the following information.
  5. Residence Homestead Exemption Frequently Asked Questions

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