There are property tax exemptions that allow individuals to reduce or eliminate the amount of taxes that they are required to pay. Any resident can apply for a homestead exemption on their primary residence. There are also exemptions for disabled veterans, surviving spouses, and seniors.
Senior property tax exemptions vary by state, but most states have a minimum age requirement. Some states also have income requirements.
In Texas, seniors who are 65 years of age or older are eligible for certain exemptions if the property is their primary residence (homestead). Learn more about property tax breaks and exemptions for people 65 and older.
Texans can defer property taxes on their primary residence (homestead) if they are age 65 or older. You must file an affidavit with the appraisal district to seek the deferral. Once filed, taxes are deferred.
It’s important to note that while this tax deferral sounds like you stop paying property taxes at age 65, that is not necessarily true. A deferral doesn’t erase or cancel property taxes; it just delays them until the owner dies or sells the property.
Senior Homestead Exemption
Seniors age 65 or older can qualify for an additional exemption of $10,000 in addition to the homestead exemption that all homeowners in Texas can receive. You qualify for this exemption in the year you turn 65.
The exemption applies for the entire year that you turn 65, and for subsequent years as long as you live in the home that qualifies for the exemption.
As of 2005, if your date of birth is on your original homestead application, you automatically qualify for the additional exemption in Texas. You do not need to apply.
School Tax Ceiling
At age 65, Texas homeowners can receive a “tax-freeze” on their school taxes if they qualify for the homestead exemption. This means that the school district taxes on your property will not increase as long as you remain the homeowner; taxes cannot go above the ceiling (freeze) amount, but it is possible for you to pay less if a future appraised value is less than the value it was when it froze.
You cannot do any major updates that would increase your property value, or the tax ceiling can increase.
Take Advantage of Property Tax Exemptions
Texas has some of the highest property taxes in the nation, which can be an even bigger burden to older individuals who may not have regular income. Fortunately, property tax exemptions can help reduce tax liability for seniors.
Regardless of where you live, make sure you review your state’s requirements and take any steps to apply or file for an exemption.
You can also potentially save even more on property taxes if you file a property tax protest. This allows you to appeal the appraised value of your property. If successful, you can reduce the amount of property taxes you are required to pay.