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Tax Breaks

The Travis County Tax Office knows the importance of helping citizens save money. The following should provide the information you need to effectively determine your eligibility for any exemption or benefit.

    Travis County Tax Facts - How to Save on Property Tax

Exemptions Explained

    Taxpayers should apply for a Homestead Exemption on the property they own and primarily occupy. Download the Residential Homestead Exemption Application(Spanish). Homestead exemptions lower the taxable value of your property, therefore lowering your tax liability. (For example, if your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualify for a $10,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on only $90,000 of the home's overall value.) Review tax rates and exemption amounts in Travis County.
    Seniors (aged 65 or older) and disabled homeowners can apply for Homestead Exemptions specifically designed for them. The application form is the same. (See "How Do I Apply?" below.) Download a copy of the Residential Homestead Exemption Application (Spanish).

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How do I apply?

    File an Application for Residential Homestead Exemption (Spanish) with the Travis Central Appraisal District. The application form covers all of the available Homestead Exemptions offered - General Homestead, Over-65, Disability, 100% Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouse - and comes with detailed instructions for each. If you have questions about the application form, please contact that Travis Central Appraisal District directly at (512) 834-9138.

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What Homes Qualify?

    The home's owner must be an individual (not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1st of the tax year. Only an owner's principal residence qualifies and a person can only declare one property they own as a homestead.
    A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or a mobile home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A homestead can include up to 20 acres of land, if the land is used as a yard or for another purpose related to the residential use of the homestead (i.e.: not for agricultural or commercial use).
    Qualifying properties in Travis County are determined and approved solely at the discretion of the Travis Central Appraisal District. Call them at (512) 834-9138 if you have questions about these qualifications.

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Temporary Moves

    If you temporarily move away from your homesteaded property, you may continue to receive your homestead exemption as long as you do not establish a principal residence elsewhere, you intend to return to the home and you are away for less than two years. (These requirements are only waived if you are actively serving in the military or live in a facility providing services related to health, infirmity or aging.)
    Call the Travis Central Appraisal District at (512) 834-9138 if you are planning to move out of your homestead temporarily and want to determine if your exemption will remain in place while you are gone.

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School Tax Ceiling for Over-65 and Disabled Homestead Owners

    The homestead tax ceiling is a limit on the amount of school taxes you must pay on your residence. When you qualify your home for an Over-65 or Disabled Person Homestead Exemption (Spanish), the school taxes on that home will not increase as long as the exemption is in place. The tax ceiling freezes your school taxes at the amount you pay in the year that you qualify for the exemption.
    The school taxes on your home may go below the ceiling, but not above. If you improve the home (other than normal repairs or maintenance), the tax ceiling may be adjusted to account for the value of the new additions (i.e.: a new garage, extra room or other fixed structure that adds value).
    If you move from one homestead to another, you will need to contact the appraisal district office of your previous and current county to request the transfer of your tax ceiling between properties. This process is called "porting" an exemption. Contact the Travis Central Appraisal District at (512) 834-9138 with questions about this process.

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Disabled Person Exemptions

    To qualify, you must meet the Social Security Administration definition for disabled and receive disability benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program. For more information, refer directly to the Exemption Application form (Spanish) or contact the Travis Central Appraisal District at (512) 834-9138.

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Deferrals

    Owners with an Over-65 or Disability Homestead Exemption in place have the legal option to defer (put off) payment of property taxes. Property tax deferrals allow qualified homeowners to pay taxes at any time without penalty and 8% interest per year (rather than the standard 24% penalty and interest). Deferrals cannot be applied retroactively to delinquent taxes due on non-deferred years.
    Deferred taxes become due when the property with the deferral changes legal ownership or when the owner granted the deferral passes away. On the 181st day after the deferral ends, all standard penalty and interest charges for all years become due.
    Once a property has been granted a deferral, an annual statement showing the current tax balance on the property is mailed to the owner of record as a matter of law. This notice is not a demand to pay. Owners with deferrals can choose to make payment of any amount at any time during the life of the deferral.

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100% Disabled Veteran Exemption

    The Texas Legislature recently enacted House Bill 3613 which added Section 11.131 to the Texas Property Tax Code. This legislation created an exemption from property taxes for veterans who are either 100% disabled or are unemployable. The exemption can also be transferred to the surviving spouse of a veteran.
    To qualify you must...
      ... own a home and occupy it as your residence homestead
      ... receive 100% disability compensation from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability
      ... have a disability rating of 100% or of individual unemployability
      ... be a surviving spouse who meets the following criteria:
        (1) the surviving spouse has not remarried
        (2) the property was the residence of the surviving spouse when the veteran died
        (3) the property remains the homestead of the surviving spouse.
    Qualified veterans submit a completed exemption application form and proof of 100% disability or unemployability, as determined by the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs, to the Travis Central Appraisal District. The exemption is effective upon approval. Application forms are available through the Travis Central Appraisal District's website.

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Information
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Exemptions Explained

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How Do I Apply?

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What Homes Qualify?

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Temporary Moves

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School Tax Ceiling for Over-65 & Disabled Owners

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Disabled Person Exemptions

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Property Tax Deferrals

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100% Disabled Veteran Exemption

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