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How To File A Homestead Exemption Application in California

A homestead exemption can protect a portion of your property’s equity from certain creditors if you file for bankruptcy. In many states, it can also help you save on your property taxes. Some states provide both the property tax deduction and equity protection, while other states only provide the equity protection. Many states provide additional exemptions for seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners. Each county sets its own amount for homestead exemption. And some do not offer this service to their property owners.

If the exemption allows for a portion of the value of your residence to be deducted from the property tax assessment, it will lower your property tax bill. For example, if your residence is valued at $250,000 and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you are billed for taxes on your home and land as if it was worth $230,000.

How do I qualify for a homestead exemption?

If you purchased a home in California that is your primary residence prior to January 1, 2020, you are entitled to apply for a homestead exemption on the home and land. To be granted a homestead exemption, you must occupy the home, and the home must be considered your legal residence for all purposes.

Once you have applied and been granted a homestead exemption, your property will continue to receive the exemption each year until the home is sold.

How do I find homestead exemption details for my county and apply for a homestead exemption?

You can access the homestead exemption form and specific information, including the filing deadline for your county, by contacting your local county property tax office or by searching online: Your County homestead exemption. Alternatively, you can visit the California State Board of Equalization website for details on how to file a property tax exemption with your county.

Please note: There is NO charge to submit the homestead exemption form, so be wary of any offer you receive in the mail to submit it for you.

If you purchased your home in 2019, you should also provide your tax preparer with a copy of the Closing Disclosure to see if you qualify for any tax savings on your personal income taxes.
 
 
- Jan 03, 2020



 
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