Stop Everything: Have You Filed Your Homestead Exemption?

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Easter is over, but we’re going to quote a rabbit anyway — if you’re waiting to file your homestead exemption for your property taxes, you may find yourself late, late, for a very important date.

Luckily, we’re reminding everyone on April 28, because the deadline is *checks iPhone precariously balanced on my lap* April 30.

Now, first things first — we’ve heard from a few people who happened to look at their little notice from the central appraisal district and found that somehow their homestead exemption had been removed.

You’re gonna wanna get on that. We have an email out to Dallas Central Appraisal District about it, but if you haven’t asked about it, you probably should.

Now, if you’ve purchased a house last year, you need to make sure you’ve filed. Lydia Blair gave a great rundown at the beginning of the year on how to do this, but let’s hit the high points (although I highly encourage you to go back and read her excellent explainer later).

Lydia wrote:

  • Do not pay someone else to do this for you. It is free and you can do it online in a few minutes.”
  • “First you need to change the address on your driver’s license to your new home address. You may do that online as well for a fee. You’re going to need to submit a copy of your driver’s license or Texas ID card that shows the same address as the homestead property. Take a photo of it or scan it to upload with your online homestead application.”
  • “Find your property on the appraisal district site and open that page to show your account. There should be a choice for forms or exemptions. Just find the link and click on it.”
  • “Follow the directions for filing your exemption and fill out the online form. You’ll need to upload that copy of your driver’s license. Without it, the application will be denied. But it is quick and easy.”

“There are no specific qualifications for the general homestead exemption other than the owner has an ownership interest in the property and uses the property as the owner’s principal residence,” the state comptroller’s office says. “An applicant is required to state that he or she does not claim an exemption on another residence homestead in or outside of Texas.”

The good news is that usually you only have to do this once — once the exemption is given, you generally won’t need to apply again. But to receive it, you will need to have that exemption filed by April 30.

Head here for specific forms and filing instructions for your appraisal district:

Dallas County Appraisal District

Tarrant Appraisal District

Collin County Appraisal District

Denton County Appraisal District

Rockwall County Appraisal District


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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson lives in a 1961 Fox and Jacobs home with her husband, a second-grader, and Conrad Bain the dog. If she won the lottery, she'd by an E. Faye Jones home. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She doesn't like lima beans or the word moist.

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