Important Texas HOMESTEAD filing information

Dated: June 21 2018

Views: 1670

If you purchased your primary residence home this past year, this is very important information that will save you money on your property taxes.

You need to file for your homestead exemption between Jan 1 and March 30 to receive your homestead property tax reduction for your property taxes.  You only have to do this once but failure to do so could cost you quite a bit on this year’s taxes. For safety purposes, I recommend doing this right away in January in case the tax district changes deadlines (double-check your county to ensure you do not miss their deadline)

When you purchase a home, you adopt the current tax exemption status of the previous owner for the remainder of that calendar year.  For most of you that included a HOMESTEAD exemption that resulted in your taxes being 20-30% lower.  Some of you may have been really lucky adopting the previous owners additional exemptions (over 65, disability or the somewhat rare ag exemption) resulting in even lower taxes.  When a property changes hands, the TCAD removes all exemptions Jan 1 of the next year (this only happens once) requiring you to file your own exemptions (which you only have to do once).  YOU MUST FILE to receive this exemption for your property taxes. This can be done through the tax appraisal district.  See links below for instructions and Q&A.

·        TRAVIS County:   

·        WILLIAMSON County:

·        HAYS County:     

You may receive mail from 3rd parties offering to do this for you for a small fee.  You can do it on your own for free through the tax district.  Pay close attention to official looking mail and read carefully.

And, by the way, if the tax district asks you what you paid for your home, you do not have to answer that question.  They may send out a nice looking questionnaire … please read this carefully as it is optional.  If you paid less for your home than the current tax appraised value, then you should report that so that your tax basis will be lower.  If you paid more than the tax appraised value, we do not recommend reporting that information to the taxing authorities as you are not required to do so.  That information may very likely eventually catch up with them, but you do not have to facilitate the process.



Your property taxes will be based on how much the tax district thinks your home is worth.  Every spring, you will get an estimated value from the tax district.



We pledge to always provide helpful information such as this … we have a no-junk policy.  Please keep us in mind if you have friends, family or colleagues who may be in need of our services this year.  We promise to treat them well.

Here’s to a healthy, happy and fiscally smart year.


  — your friends and advocates at The Nelson Project @ eXp Realty



© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at eXp Realty,2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at eXp Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Julie Nelson is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX.  This article and other blog postings should not be construed as legal or professional advice.  Contact your favorite Austin real estate professionals in person for actual advice. Search for Austin homes or connect with Julie at


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Julie Nelson

Licensed since 1999, Julie is a real estate veteran in Austin, TX, brokered by eXp Realty. Realtor, trainer, coach, industry author, career strategist, Julie serves buyers and sellers throughout the ....

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