Important HOMESTEAD filing information
If you purchased your home this past year, this is very important information.
You need to file for your homestead exemption between Jan 1 and April 30 to receive your homestead property tax reduction for your 2010 taxes which are due in 2011. You only have to do this once but failure to do so could cost you quite a bit on this year’s taxes.
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 BETWEEN JAN 1 AND APRIL 30 to receive this exemption for your 2010 taxes (due in Jan 2011). This can be done through the tax appraisal district. See link below for instructions and Q&A.
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.
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 @ Keller Williams Realty
© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. 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 Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.