New and Top Exemptions
Learn the Property Tax Exemptions that have extended deadlines
The Texas legislature passed a law in the summer of 2017 that extends the deadline to file certain exemptions.
Great news for procrastinators!
New Changes Summary
The deadline has been extended to two years after the delinquency date of the taxes for that year. For example, you have until January 31, 2018 to file for the 2015 tax year.
The deadline has been extended to five years after the delinquency date of taxes for that year. For example, you have until January 31, 2018 to file for the 2012 tax year.
Top 6 Exemptions We See the Most
A complete list can be found on the Texas State Comptroller Website here.
You are eligible to claim a Homestead Exemption on your primary residence as long as you are: 1) living there as of January 1st of that year and 2) List that address on your driver’s license. This exemption gives you discounts on many taxing jurisdictions that lower the taxable value of your home. It also puts a 10% limit on how much the taxable value of your home can increase from one tax year to the next.
Example: Your property had a homestead exemption in 2015 and was valued at $100,000. In 2016, the market value jumped up to $200,000 – you would only be taxed on a 10% increase from 2015 or $110,0000 ($100,000 + 10% = $110,000). This is an extremely valuable exemption in our booming market.
The deadline to file for the Homestead Exemption is one year after taxes became delinquent for that tax year. For example, the deadline to file an exemption for the 2015 tax year is January 31st, 2017 (one year after the deadline to pay your 2015 tax bill).
2. Over 65
You are eligible to claim an Over 65 Exemption on your homestead the year that you turn 65. The Over 65 exemption entitles you to bigger discounts from taxing entities than a normal Homestead exemption. It also puts a tax ceiling on the dollar amount that you pay to your local school district. The freeze amount will remain, unless additional “value” is added to your property.
For example, if you turned 65 in 2015 and paid Austin ISD $5,000.00 you would never pay more than that dollar amount to Austin ISD. Your tax freeze also stays with you as long as you move somewhere in the state of Texas.
The Over 65 Exemption also allows you to defer paying property taxes for as long as you own the property. You will still accrue 8% interest each year which will be collected once the property has sold or transfers ownership.
3. Disabled Person
The benefits of this exemption are similar to the Over 65 exemption including bigger discounts from certain taxing entities and a tax ceiling on the school district jurisdiction. You must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability in order to qualify.
4. Disabled Veteran
Veterans of the US Armed Forces qualify for a Disabled Veteran exemption if they have a disability rating of 10% or more. The discounts vary depending on your disability rating.
5. Solar and Wind-Powered Energy Devices
If you have solar or wind-powered energy devices on your property, please contact our office about this exemption. You are eligible to claim the exemption if you have solar or wind-powered devices on your property but in some cases the exemption will not benefit you. The exemption removes the value of the device(s) from the taxable value of your property. This application is due by April 30th but will remain in effect on your property unless there are any changes to the equipment.
6. Historical or Archaeological Sites
If your property is a designated historic building or archaeological site or has historical significance, you may be eligible for the Historical Exemption. This gives discounts for the jurisdictions that choose to grant the exemption and the discounts are different for every property. Contact our office for more information or refer to the Comptroller regulations here.
For more information:
Texas Protax FAQ
Is it too late to file a protest?
Many homeowners are being hit with sticker shock at the size of their tax bills.
If you did not file a protest by May 31st this year, it is most likely too late but there are still a few options open if you qualify for one of the late protests below.
Clerical/Characteristic Error (25.25c)
You can back-file a protest for up to 5 tax years if the Appraisal District has a qualifying error on your property. You must pay your taxes on-time in order to qualify. These types of errors consist of:
- Clerical/data entry error – such as transposing numbers, entering an 8 instead of a 5, etc.
- Multiple appraisals of your property – such as taxing you for two identical houses when you only have one on your property.
- Inclusion of property that does not exist in that form or location – such as taxing you for your neighbor’s pool because of faulty satellite imagery or for a garage that does not exist.
- Appraisal District failing to update ownership information leading to a tax bill you are not responsible for.
Substantial Error (25.25d)
You are eligible to file this type of protest if your property was substantially over-appraised. In order to qualify for this protest type, you first have to prove that your property was one-third over-appraised. Multiply your appraised value by 0.75 – you must prove that your property is worth less than this value in order to qualify. (Example: You just paid $300,000 for a property but the Appraisal District appraised it for $400,000.)
You must file your protest before January 31st. You must pay your taxes on-time in order to qualify. There is a 10% penalty for filing a successful 25.25d protest.
Failure to Receive Notice (41.411)
If the Appraisal District never sent you a copy of your Notice of Appraised Value (usually mailed in April) then this could be an option for you. You may qualify if:
- You provided the correct mailing address to the Appraisal District and they failed to update it.
- Mail was returned to the Appraisal District.
- You were a victim of mail theft and have documented evidence from the USPS to prove it.
There are other potential options that are even more rare.
For more information:
Texas Protax FAQ