Normally, you would file your regular residential homestead exemption application between January 1 and April 30 of the tax year. (Early applications will not be accepted.) However, if you miss the April 30th deadline you can still apply up to one year after the date taxes became delinquent for the year (usually February 1 of the year following the tax year, but sinceFebruary 1 falls on a Sunday this year, you can file by February 2, 2015 for 2014‘s residential homestead exemption).
Per the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD), if you bought a home in 2014 with a general homestead exemption on it, the exemption normally stays in place for that entire tax year. The final taxes for the year will reflect the exemption. However, the new owner will have to qualify for the exemption by filing an application in his or her own name for the following year (2015).
So, if you are occupying the home in which you purchased, be sure to file your homestead exemption (among other exemptions for which you may quality) by visiting to download the appropriate form(s) to file: http://www.hcad.org/forms/default.asp?form=7
What is a homestead exemption? Per HCAD, “A homestead exemption helps you save on taxes on your home. An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. For example, if your home is valued at $100,000 and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you pay taxes on your home as if it was worth only $80,000.”
For more details on property tax exemptions for home owners, please visit: http://www.hcad.org/resources/exemptions/homeowners.asp