Texas Tax Code - TAX § 11.43. Application for Exemption

(a) To receive an exemption, a person claiming the exemption, other than an exemption authorized by Section 11.11 , 11.12 , 11.14 , 11.141 , 11.145 , 11.146 , 11.15 , 11.16 , 11.161 , or 11.25 , must apply for the exemption.  To apply for an exemption, a person must file an exemption application form with the chief appraiser for each appraisal district in which the property subject to the claimed exemption has situs.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) and by Sections 11.184 and 11.437 , a person required to apply for an exemption must apply each year the person claims entitlement to the exemption.

(c) An exemption provided by Section 11.13 , 11.131 , 11.132 , 11.133 , 11.134 , 11.17 , 11.18 , 11.182 , 11.1827 , 11.183 , 11.19 , 11.20 , 11.21 , 11.22 , 11.23(a) , (h) , (j) , (j-1) , or (m) , 11.231 , 11.254 , 11.27 , 11.271 , 11.29 , 11.30 , 11.31 , 11.315 , or 11.35 , once allowed, need not be claimed in subsequent years, and except as otherwise provided by Subsection (e), the exemption applies to the property until it changes ownership or the person's qualification for the exemption changes.  However, except as provided by Subsection (r), the chief appraiser may require a person allowed one of the exemptions in a prior year to file a new application to confirm the person's current qualification for the exemption by delivering a written notice that a new application is required, accompanied by an appropriate application form, to the person previously allowed the exemption.  If the person previously allowed the exemption is 65 years of age or older, the chief appraiser may not cancel the exemption due to the person's failure to file the new application unless the chief appraiser complies with the requirements of Subsection (q), if applicable.

(d) To receive an exemption the eligibility for which is determined by the claimant's qualifications on January 1 of the tax year, a person required to claim an exemption must file a completed exemption application form before May 1 and must furnish the information required by the form.  A person who after January 1 of a tax year acquires property that qualifies for an exemption covered by Section 11.42(d) must apply for the exemption for the applicable portion of that tax year before the first anniversary of the date the person acquires the property.  For good cause shown the chief appraiser may extend the deadline for filing an exemption application by written order for a single period not to exceed 60 days.

(e) Except as provided by Section 11.422 , 11.431 , 11.433 , 11.434 , 11.435 , or 11.439 , or 11.4391 , if a person required to apply for an exemption in a given year fails to file timely a completed application form, the person may not receive the exemption for that year.

(f) The comptroller, in prescribing the contents of the application form for each kind of exemption, shall ensure that the form requires an applicant to furnish the information necessary to determine the validity of the exemption claim.  The form must require an applicant to provide the applicant's name and driver's license number, personal identification certificate number, or social security account number.  If the applicant is a charitable organization with a federal tax identification number, the form must allow the applicant to provide the organization's federal tax identification number in lieu of a driver's license number, personal identification certificate number, or social security account number.  The comptroller shall include on the forms a notice of the penalties prescribed by Section 37.10, Penal Code , for making or filing an application containing a false statement.  The comptroller shall include, on application forms for exemptions that do not have to be claimed annually, a statement explaining that the application need not be made annually and that if the exemption is allowed, the applicant has a duty to notify the chief appraiser when the applicant's entitlement to the exemption ends.  In this subsection:

(1) “Driver's license” has the meaning assigned that term by Section 521.001, Transportation Code .

(2) “Personal identification certificate” means a certificate issued by the Department of Public Safety under Subchapter E, Chapter 521, Transportation Code.  1

(g) A person who receives an exemption that is not required to be claimed annually shall notify the appraisal office in writing before May 1 after his entitlement to the exemption ends.

(h) If the chief appraiser learns of any reason indicating that an exemption previously allowed should be canceled, the chief appraiser shall investigate.  Subject to Subsection (q), if the chief appraiser determines that the property should not be exempt, the chief appraiser shall cancel the exemption and deliver written notice of the cancellation within five days after the date the exemption is canceled.

(i) If the chief appraiser discovers that an exemption that is not required to be claimed annually has been erroneously allowed in any one of the five preceding years, the chief appraiser shall add the property or appraised value that was erroneously exempted for each year to the appraisal roll as provided by Section 25.21 of this code for other property that escapes taxation.  If an exemption that was erroneously allowed did not apply to all taxing units in which the property was located, the chief appraiser shall note on the appraisal records, for each prior year, the taxing units that gave the exemption and are entitled to impose taxes on the property or value that escaped taxation.

(j) In addition to the items required by Subsection (f), an application for a residence homestead exemption prescribed by the comptroller and authorized by Section 11.13 must:

(1) list each owner of the residence homestead and the interest of each owner;

(2) state that the applicant does not claim an exemption under that section on another residence homestead in this state or claim a residence homestead exemption on a residence homestead outside this state;

(3) state that each fact contained in the application is true;

(4) include a copy of the applicant's driver's license or state-issued personal identification certificate unless the applicant:

(A) is a resident of a facility that provides services related to health, infirmity, or aging;  or

(B) is certified for participation in the address confidentiality program administered by the attorney general under Subchapter B, Chapter 5856, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(5) state that the applicant has read and understands the notice of the penalties required by Subsection (f);  and

(6) be signed by the applicant.

(k) A person who qualifies for an exemption authorized by Section 11.13(c) or (d) or 11.132 must apply for the exemption no later than the first anniversary of the date the person qualified for the exemption.

(l) The form for an application under Section 11.13 must include a space for the applicant to state the applicant's date of birth.  Failure to provide the date of birth does not affect the applicant's eligibility for an exemption under that section, other than an exemption under Section 11.13(c) or (d) for an individual 65 years of age or older.

(m) Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (k), a person who receives an exemption under Section 11.13 , other than an exemption under Section 11.13(c) or (d) for an individual 65 years of age or older, in a tax year is entitled to receive an exemption under Section 11.13(c) or (d) for an individual 65 years of age or older in the next tax year on the same property without applying for the exemption if the person becomes 65 years of age in that next year as shown by:

(1) information in the records of the appraisal district that was provided to the appraisal district by the individual in an application for an exemption under Section 11.13 on the property or in correspondence relating to the property;  or

(2) the information provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety to the appraisal district under Section 521.049, Transportation Code .

(m-1) Subsection (m) does not apply if the chief appraiser determines that the individual is no longer entitled to any exemption under Section 11.13 on the property.

(n) Except as provided by Subsection (p), a chief appraiser may not allow an applicant an exemption provided by Section 11.13 if the applicant is required under Subsection (j) to provide a copy of the applicant's driver's license or state-issued personal identification certificate unless the address listed on the driver's license or state-issued personal identification certificate provided by the applicant corresponds to the address of the property for which the exemption is claimed.

(o) The application form for a residence homestead exemption must require an applicant who is not specifically identified on a deed or other appropriate instrument recorded in the real property records of the county in which the property is located as an owner of the residence homestead, including an heir property owner, to provide:

(1) an affidavit establishing the applicant's ownership of an interest in the property;

(2) a copy of the death certificate of the prior owner of the property, if the applicant is an heir property owner;

(3) a copy of the most recent utility bill for the property, if the applicant is an heir property owner;  and

(4) a citation of any court record relating to the applicant's ownership of the property if available.

(o-1) The application form for a residence homestead exemption may not require an heir property owner to provide a copy of an instrument recorded in the real property records of the county in which the property is located.

(o-2) The application form for a residence homestead exemption must require:

(1) an applicant who is an heir property owner to state that the property for which the application is submitted is heir property;  and

(2) each owner of an interest in heir property who occupies the property as the owner's principal residence, other than the applicant, to provide an affidavit that authorizes the submission of the application.

(p) A chief appraiser may waive the requirement provided by Subsection (n) that the address of the property for which the exemption is claimed correspond to the address listed on the driver's license or state-issued personal identification certificate provided by the applicant under Subsection (j) if the applicant:

(1) is an active duty member of the armed services of the United States or the spouse of an active duty member and the applicant includes with the application a copy of the applicant's or spouse's military identification card and a copy of a utility bill for the property subject to the claimed exemption in the applicant's or spouse's name;  or

(2) holds a driver's license issued under Section 521.121(c) or 521.1211, Transportation Code , and includes with the application a copy of the application for that license provided to the Texas Department of Transportation.

(q) A chief appraiser may not cancel an exemption under Section 11.13 that is received by an individual who is 65 years of age or older without first providing written notice of the cancellation to the individual receiving the exemption.  The notice must include a form on which the individual may indicate whether the individual is qualified to receive the exemption and a self-addressed postage prepaid envelope with instructions for returning the form to the chief appraiser.  The chief appraiser shall consider the individual's response on the form in determining whether to continue to allow the exemption.  If the chief appraiser does not receive a response on or before the 60th day after the date the notice is mailed, the chief appraiser may cancel the exemption on or after the 30th day after the expiration of the 60-day period, but only after making a reasonable effort to locate the individual and determine whether the individual is qualified to receive the exemption.  For purposes of this subsection, sending an additional notice of cancellation that includes, in bold font equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text, the date on which the chief appraiser is authorized to cancel the exemption to the individual receiving the exemption immediately after the expiration of the 60-day period by first class mail in an envelope on which is written, in all capital letters, “RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED,” or another appropriate statement directing the United States Postal Service to return the notice if it is not deliverable as addressed, or providing the additional notice in another manner that the chief appraiser determines is appropriate, constitutes a reasonable effort on the part of the chief appraiser.  This subsection does not apply to an exemption under Section 11.13(c) or (d) for an individual 65 years of age or older that is canceled because the chief appraiser determines that the individual receiving the exemption no longer owns the property subject to the exemption.

(r) The chief appraiser may not require a person allowed an exemption under Section 11.131 to file a new application to determine the person's current qualification for the exemption if the person has a permanent total disability determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs under 38 C.F.R. Section 4.15 .

(s) A person who qualifies for an exemption under Section 11.35(b) must apply for the exemption not later than the 105th day after the date the governor declares the area in which the person's qualified property is located to be a disaster area.  A person who qualifies for an exemption under Section 11.35(c) must apply for the exemption not later than the 45th day after the date the governing body of the taxing unit adopts the exemption.  The chief appraiser may extend the deadlines prescribed by this subsection for good cause shown.

1 V.T.C.A., Transportation Code § 521.101 et seq.

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