Avoid this Homestead Exemption Scam

Man and woman looking at paperworkIf you’ve gotten a letter recently telling you about a great opportunity to declare your property as a homestead and receive a tax exemption, it’s time to read the fine print. If you ever receive letters or documents that appear to be from legitimate businesses, but you’re concerned they sound too good to be true, don’t hesitate to use all of the resources at your disposal to verify their authenticity. The Better Business Bureau can help determine whether or not companies claiming they help with tax exemptions are authorized and reliable. Your district tax appraiser’s office can also help you to avoid scams related to home and property taxes. Keep reading to learn more about homestead exemptions, and call the Home Tax Solution team to find out more.

What is the Scam?

In recent months, residents in numerous Texas counties have reported receiving letters from a company that prepares homestead forms to get a property designated a homestead in exchange for a fee. Unfortunately, a homestead designation is NOT the same thing as a homestead exemption. Homestead designation is a form submitted in order to declare a property a homestead for the public record. This can protect a home from forced sale, but it’s not legally necessary to have your property designated a homestead in the public record in order to receive a homestead tax exemption. You can receive help to apply for exemptions free of charge from your local appraisal district.

What is a Homestead Exemption?

Homestead exemptions make part of the value of your property exempt from certain types of taxation. If you own your home and it is the principal place that you live in January when taxes are assessed, you may be able to apply for a homestead exemption. In addition to decreasing the amount of your home’s value that is taxable, homestead exemption also helps residents to avoid large spikes in property taxes by capping the annual increase in valuation of your home at 10%. For example, a home valued at $100,000 in 2017 may be valued at $150,000 in 2018, but your property taxes can only be assessed at $110,000. Your property valuation will continue to increase by 10% each year until it matches the market value, but you don’t have to worry about huge increases in property tax. This can be especially important if you are making improvements to your home or building a new home.

What Can I do to Protect My Home?

If you’re behind on your property taxes, a scam like this can sound too good to be true, and unfortunately, it is. However, a low interest property tax loan from Home Tax Solutions gives property owners the opportunity to pay the cost of their home or business property taxes throughout the year and avoid the hefty penalties that accrue when your annual tax payment is late. This frees up money in your budget, and our low interest loans are significantly more affordable than the large penalties that stack up in a short time frame following a missed tax deadline. If you want to learn more about Texas property tax loans from Home Tax Solutions, you can complete our simple online application to get started right away. In less than five minutes, you’ll be well on your way to a home tax solution you can live with.