Time to File for Homestead Exemption!

When owning a property, you must be aware of all the obligations of owning an estate. It doesn’t matter if you inhabit or rent the property, whether it’s a residential or a business, or even if you don’t occupy the property, there are always taxes to be paid; no one can escape that. However, being an owner occupant also comes with some benefits, and that’s the case of Homestead tax exemptions. Read on to see how you can get back part of your taxes and save money!

What is a homestead exemption? 

A homestead exemption is a legal stipulation that helps reduce the amount of property taxes you pay on your home. Sounds good, right? 

Every property owner is entitled to a homestead exemption as long as they comply with a series of requirements that we’ve comprehensively enlisted for you below. 

How can I get a homestead exemption? 

A homeowner is entitled to a homestead exemption on their home and the land underneath, as long as it was its legal residence as of January 1 of the taxable year. Hence, you can’t apply for this benefit if you’re renting a property or renting it to others. You can’t qualify for this tax break for all the properties you own either; this benefit is only available for the one you use as your home. The amount you can get back is also variable depending on the property’s value; some states exempt a percentage of a home’s value while others set a standard amount.  

The exemption is not automatic, but you need to file for it at least once. After granted, it will automatically be renewed each year, as long as you continually occupy the property as your primary residence. It is also essential to fill the homestead application by the same date property tax returns are due in your county.

In the state of Georgia, a homestead exemption may vary if your income is low, you’re a senior, or you have a disability. Consider that these exemptions can’t be combined if you fall into more than one category.  

Why do states use homestead tax exemptions? 

Most of them do it to decrease the real estate tax burden on homeowners. It’s a polite way to encourage homeownership. 

A homestead tax exemption can be a much-needed pressure relief to your budget. Be sure to comply with state and local rules for claiming the tax exemption and submit your application in time. Applying for a homestead exemption is easier than you may think; You can directly address the county tax assessor or state government for applications, so avoid falling for scammers out there requesting payment for filing these applications.

What do you need for your application?

Each county in Georgia may have different requests, but this list applies for almost all of them:

  1. Georgia Driver’s License or valid GA identification
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Registration for all vehicles owned
  4. Recorded Deed for new owners
  5. Trust Document and Affidavit if the property is in a trust
  6. Proof of Income (Senior and other Special Exemptions)
  7. Previous year Federal and State income tax returns 
  8. Social Security Award Letter if you do not file income tax

Contact your county tax assessor for more details. You can find more application info following the link that belongs to your county: 

Cherokee County

Clayton County

Cobb County

Coweta County

DeKalb County

Douglas County

Fayette County

Fulton County

Gwinnett County

Henry County

Paulding County

Feel free to contact us for any questions and more information. Find out for yourself why we are Atlanta’s best choice for Realtors and Real Estate Investors.