Staci Taylor

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Homestead exemption scams

October 31st, 2012

All Texas homeowners qualify for a homestead exemption on their principal residence. This exemption reduces the taxable value of a home – meaning a lower annual bill to local taxing entities.

You must apply for the exemption, but there is no fee associated with applying for a homestead exemption.

Scammers send official-looking stationery to suggest that a fee (usually $50 or more) must be paid for a homeowner to get the exemption. They may also imply that their company is an official taxing authority or a "tax processing center." These claims are false and deceptive.

Texas state law requires these companies to make it clear that they are not a governmental agency. Yet, many people are confused by these solicitations and send in the fees. These letters usually start appearing in mailboxes during the first few weeks of the new year, so be on your toes.

You can download the application for residential homestead exemption from the state comptroller’s Web site and send it in to your appraisal district.

Read more about the homestead exemption.

Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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