January 1st is a very important date for new homeowners. All counties in Georgia provide a significant break on property taxes for people’s primary residence if they are the owner on record as of January 1st of that year. This is called the homestead tax exemption.  

In order to qualify for the exemption, a person must own and live in the property on January 1 of that year and apply for the exemption before the deadline.  The deadline varies from county to county, but it is typically either April 1st or May 1st. The homestead exemption is a significant savings on property taxes.  

While it’s free to file a homestead exemption, it’s not automatic and must be applied for. Most counties allow homeowners to apply for the exemption all year-round, even if it will not be applied until the next year.  Once applied and qualified for, this exemption is automatically renewed each year as long as the owner continues to occupy and own the home under the original ownership.   

Real estate agents enjoy working with a closing attorney who understands homestead exemption deadlines.