Filing For Homestead Exemption
What is a Homestead Exemption?
A Homestead Exemption is one way to reduce the amount of property tax you pay on your residential property. In most Georgia counties, if you own the property, live in that property, AND are a legal resident of the County, all as of January 1st, you likely qualify for homestead exemption. What does that mean to you? It likely means a couple hundred dollars in tax savings every single year. Possibly even a thousand dollars or more so let’s dig a bit deeper into this and then I’ll show you exactly what you need to do to file for your homestead exemption, if you haven’t already.
The quick and dirty of what a homestead exemption does goes like this. The county places a value on your property and taxes you on that “assessed” value. A homestead exemption is a fixed dollar amount that reduces your assessed value every year. Your tax rate is applied to this reduced assessed value amount thereby saving you money Every. Single. Year.
How does the county determine who is a legal resident. Legal resident means that you are registered to vote and/or register your vehicles in the county in which you are claiming homestead exemption. You cannot claim homestead at any other location in the entire state. You can only claim homestead exemption for one property you own and live in, in the state of Georgia.
In some states, a homestead exemption is granted automatically. But, we live in Georgia, and they don’t make anything easy in this state. 🙂 You MUST make the initial application for the exemption, and then it will be applied automatically every year after that. MOST counties allow you you to file your homestead exemption on any date throughout the year, however, if you apply after April 1, the exemption will NOT be applied until the following year. SOME counties require you to apply for the exemption between Jan 1 and April 1. If you missed it this year, then you have to wait until Jan 1 before you can apply. See links below to find out how your county handles homestead exemptions.
Forsyth County – deadline is April 1
Gwinnett County – deadline is April 1
Fulton County – deadline is April 1
DeKalb County – deadline is April 1
City of Dunwoody homes are included in Dekalb County.
City of Decatur – deadline is April 1
Residents of the City of Decatur MUST apply for BOTH Decatur AND Dekalb County homestead exemptions.
Dawson County – deadline is April 1
Cobb County – deadline is April 1
Clayton County – deadline is April 1
Cherokee County – deadline is April 1
Henry County – deadline is April 1
Douglas County – deadline is April 1
Fayette County – deadline is April 1
Paulding County – deadline is April 1
Quick links to metro Atlanta counties with notable senior homestead exemptions:
*** The contents of this page are intended to convey general information only and not to provide any legal or accounting advice or opinions. An attorney or accountant should be contacted for specific information on homestead exemptions. Determination of eligibility for a particular exemption is made by the relevant authority. All information deemed accurate at time of writing but is subject to change at any time and should be verified by each individual homeowner.