Land and a house (improvements)must meet the test of residential occupancy. One house may use one lot, another may use one acre, another three acres and so on. However, no homestead exemption may be granted on more land than is being used as a residence. In other words, a residence homestead is basically a home and a yard. To qualify,the property must be designed or adapted for human residence and the homeowner must own the property on January 1 of the year application is made. The person claiming the exemption must reside at the property on January 1 and can not claim a homestead exemption on any other property. In addition, a homestead exemption may not be claimed by a spouse on other property.


You will qualify for this exemption on the date you become age 65. This exemption includes a school tax limitation, or ceiling. You must submit proof of age. Acceptable proof includes a copy of the front side of your driver’s license, or a copy of your birth certificate. You may not receive both this exemption and the Disability Exemption. If you qualify for both exemptions, you must choose one. The Over-65 Exemption is generally the better choice, since it qualifies for a school tax ceiling. In addition the Over-65 Exemptions and the school tax ceiling may be transferred to another property if you change your primary residential status to that property.


You must meet all of the qualifications for the General Residential Homestead Exemption outlined above and you must be under a disability for the purposes of payment of disability benefits under the Federal Old-Age, Survivor’s and Disability Insurance Act.Or, you must have met the definition of disabled in that act on January 1 of the year for which you are applying. You must submit proof of disability which includes a current printout from Social Security showing that you are disabled and the date on which your disability began. You may also submit a current letter of verification from your physician stating that you are disabled,giving the date your disability began, and that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful work for a period which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of a year or more. You may not receive both this exemption and the Over-65 Exemption.


If qualified, you will receive an extension of your spouse’s Over-65 exemptions and the school tax ceiling. In order to qualify, your deceased spouse must have been receiving the Over-65 Exemption on this residence homestead or would have applied and qualified before the spouse’s death. You must have been 55 years of age or older on the date your spouse died and death must have occurred on or after December 1,1987. You must submit proof of age and proof of death of your spouse.


When filing for the General Residential Homestead Exemption and the Disability Homestead Exemption you must file an application no later than one year after the date you paid the taxes on the homestead or the date that the taxes became delinquent, whichever comes first. When filing for the Over-65 Exemption during the year, in order to qualify the Over-65 Exemption for a prorated portion of that year, you must file no later than the first anniversary of the date you became age 65.


All school districts within Dallas County grant a reduction of $15,000 from your market value for a General Homestead Exemption. Some taxing units also offer additional optional reductions for the Homestead Exemption. In addition, each school district will grant a minimum reduction of $10,000 from the market value for an Over-65 Exemption. For optional exemptions, the governing body of each taxing entity decides whether it will offer the exemption and at what percentage.



Homestead Information for a New Home Owner

As a new property owner, you are required to pay property taxes on this real estate. It is taxed each year by a variety of jurisdictions including the county, city and school district. You, as the new owner, need to notify the taxing authorities of your ownership so that the tax rolls will reflect the change (if the change has not been noted). You may do this by contacting the appropriate tax appraisal district in your county from the following list:

Collin County Appraisal District 469-742-9200 

Dallas County Appraisal District 214-631-0910 

Denton County Appraisal District 940-349-3800 

Ellis County Appraisal District 

Rockwall County Appraisal District 972-771-2034 

Tarrant County Appraisal District 817-284-0024


In order to qualify for a residential homestead exemption you must provide the following to the Central Appraisal District when submitting your application: 

1. A copy of the applicant’s Texas driver’s license or Texas identification card 
NOTE: The property address on the exemption application must match the address listed on the applicant’s Texas driver’s license/Texas Identification certificate; otherwise the Chief Appraiser is prohibited from approving the exemption. 
On January 1, ownership, legal description of the property and exemption status of the taxpayer are determined. Several forms of tax relief are available which may reduce the taxable value of your property. Applying for exemptions is the taxpayer’s responsibility.  Contact your appraisal district to learn more about the following exemptions and how to file for them: 

General Homestead Exemption 
Over 65 Exemption 
Disabled Individual Exemption 
Disabled Veteran Exemption 
*Agriculture Land Exemption 

To receive your exemption(s), you must own and occupy the property as of January 1st. Your application must be applied for on or before April 30th to receive the tax benefits for this year.  This service is FREE. 

Remember, tax bills are generally mailed in October of each year. The taxes are considered due and payable once the tax bills have been released, however, you may elect to pay them as late as January 31 without penalty. Taxes become delinquent February 1 and on this date penalties and interest do accrue. If you receive a Tax Statement and your mortgage company is escrowing funds for taxes from your monthly payments, forward the statement to your mortgage company so they can pay the taxes. 

If the Central Appraisal District sends correspondence regarding your exemptions or ownership, make sure to respond.