All Texan property owners are well aware of the burden of Texas property taxes. We have all had to accept the fact that, despite the protests raised over the years, these taxes and the high property tax rates are not going anywhere. That being said, there are ways for some people to reduce their liability and benefit from property tax relief. As a homeowner, you have to accept that you are liable for property tax, but you also want to ensure that you are not paying more than you need to. Although tax reductions for the average homeowner are not likely to be in the cards anytime soon, the law does make provisions for breaks and reductions for people who fulfill certain criteria. If you are wondering how to lower your property taxes in Texas, this article will lay out the requirements you need to meet to qualify for these exemptions so you can start the necessary steps to take advantage of these property tax breaks.
Chapter 11 of the Texas Property Tax Code provides homestead tax exemptions for people who meet certain requirements, depending on the regulations in your county. The main exemptions are as follows:
Basic homestead exemption: School districts are required to offer a $25,000 exemption on residence homesteads. Counties can also offer additional exemptions of up to 20% of a property’s appraised value.
Senior citizens and disabled homeowners: The disabled and the elderly are entitled to an additional $10,000 exemption from school taxes. This means that senior citizens will get their $25,000 basic exemption, as well as a $10,000 senior exemption. It is not possible to qualify for both the senior and disabled exemption. A disabled person must meet the definition of disabled for the purpose of receiving disability insurance benefits under the Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Act.
Disabled veterans exemptions: Property tax reductions or exemptions for disabled veterans in Texas depend on your age and disability rating. The maximum veteran exemption of $12,000 is for vets who are at least 70% disabled and/or over the age of 65. In order to receive a disabled veteran exemption, you must be a veteran who was disabled while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Spouses of veterans: If you are the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran, you can claim the same exemption that your spouse was entitled to at the time of their death. This exemeption is available to surviving spouses (provided they have not remarried) and minor children of a military person who has died while on active duty.
County tax exemption: Some counties collect special taxes for certain conditions that apply in their territory, such as flood control. If you live in one of these counties, you can qualify for an additional $3,000.
The Senior Tax Freeze: The property tax freeze for seniors in Texas, also referred to as the over 65 property tax exemption, refers to the Texas Tax Code, Section 33.06., which states that seniors over the age of 65 in Texas may defer their property taxes until their estates are settled after death.
Other Exemptions: Other property tax exemptions may be available within certain counties, especially for spouses of first responders who died in the line of duty. Check with your county tax office for what may be available to you.
Depending on the value of your home, you can achieve substantial savings on your taxes. If you qualify for the basic exemption, as well as the senior or disabled exemptions and county tax exemption, a total of $38,000 will be deducted from the value of your property when the county calculates your tax bill. If your property is valued at $150,000, you will only be taxed on $112,000.
Visit the website of the Texas Comptroller’s Office to find out more about the tax breaks you might be entitled to, how to apply for property tax exemptions, and how to claim them.
Aside from the homestead tax exemptions offered by state law, there is another way you could lower your property tax liability. There is a possibility that your property is overvalued. Local tax officials evaluate (appraise) the properties in their jurisdiction, and each one has its own methods for doing so. This could result in discrepancies in calculating the value of a property, as well as the taxes that the owner is expected to pay. If you feel that you are being overcharged for your property, you can contact your county assessor and lodge an appeal with your county appraisal district.
Whatever your specific property tax bill may be or breaks you may be entitled to, you may still need help paying your debts to your county tax authorities. AFIC’s property tax loans can provide fast, affordable propertyt tax relief from the often unmanageable demands of county and city tax offices throughout the state. You can receive an instant quote by completing the form on our homepage. For qualifying properties, we can help you pay off your delinquent taxes and offer you the following benefits:
We pride ourselves on finding solutions to suit the unique needs of our clients. If you would like to discuss our property tax loans, please contact our experienced team at AFIC today.
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YOUR TAX OFFICE MAY OFFER DELINQUENT TAX INSTALLMENT PLANS THAT MAY BE LESS COSTLY TO YOU. YOU CAN REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF THESE PLANS FROM THE TAX OFFICE.
If you are over 64 or disabled, don’t get a property tax loan, contact your tax office about a deferral.
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