If you bought your primary residence in 2018 (or in previous years but haven't applied yet), it's time to file your homestead exemption with your county and perhaps your city as well. In all Metro-Atlanta counties you have until April 1st, 2019 to apply for this tax benefit, and since time goes by fast, we wanted to share this info today so you can get started now.

A homestead exemption is a legal provision that helps reduce the amount of property taxes owed on owner-occupied homes. Under Georgia law, you are entitled to a homestead exemption for property that you own and occupy as your primary residence as of January 1. The exemption is not automatic, however, and you have to properly file for the exemption to save on your taxes.

The amount you will save is a calculated percentage of your tax assessment. The good news is that the homestead exemption will remain on the property until there is a change in ownership, so you only have to do this once and it will be in place in the future. You must be a legal resident of the county and must own and occupy the home as of January 1st of the year the homestead exemption is sought.

In order to complete the application, you will need the following information and documentation:

  • Georgia Driver’s License or valid GA identification;
  • Social Security Number (Owner and Spouse)
  • Registration for all vehicles owned
  • Recorded deed for new owners
  • Trust document and affidavit if the property is in a trust
  • Proof of income, previous year’s tax returns, and copy of Social Security Award Letter (for Senior and other Special Exemptions)

Your recorded deed should have been sent to you by the closing attorney approximately 4-6 weeks after the closing. Please remember to contact the Tax Commissioner’s Office or Tax Assessor’s Office after you have filed the application to confirm receipt and that the taxing authority considers the exemption properly filed and granted.

Don't forget to apply before April 1st!

Below are county links and phone numbers to get you started: