Filing for Homestead Exemption

18 02 2011

Homestead exemption helps to reduce the amount of property taxes you have to pay.  Typically, you only have to file one time and it’s good for the rest of the time you own your home.  And most of you have probably already filed for homestead exemption.  However, there are exceptions to that rule, so please read on to make sure you don’t get caught with excessive property taxes.

If you have not already filed for homestead exemption, you must file no later than April 1st to apply to current year for most counties including Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Clayton, Cherokee, Forsyth, Douglas, and Paulding counties.  Jackson county’s deadline is March 1st.

Homeowners may need to provide their social security number, driver’s license and car tag info when filing.  It’s best to review the folloiwng rules and other tips if you have had any changes in the last year.  I was surprised about having to RE-file for homestead exemption in certain instances. 

Rules:

  1. Property owner must own and occupy the property as their primary residence as of January 1 of the tax year.  *** the county does not look at who owned the property the majority of the year – they only look at who owned the property as of January 1.
  2. Property owner cannot be receiving homestead exemption on any other property – this includes properties in other GA counties and other states.
  3. Only one homestead exemption can be claimed between husband and wife.
  4. All vehicles owned by the property owner must be registered in the county where the property owner applies for homestead exemption.

Other Tips:

  1. If the property owner is adding or deleting a person’s name on a deed, they must RE-file for homestead exemption.
  2. If there is a change in ownership, name, or spelling correction on the deed, the property owner must RE-file for homestead exemption.
  3. Refinancing your home does NOT affect your homestead exemption.
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