Tax Exemptions

Find information on key laws and resources for Texans with disabilities who qualify for tax exemptions. This page provides information on both resources and contacts that can help when looking for tax exemptions in the state. Additionally, this page includes a summary of laws by topic that relate to tax exemptions for people with disabilities. This section is not intended to be used for legal advice.

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Additional Resources

Federal and State Law

Sales Taxes

Sales, excise, and use taxes can be exempted from the following items (See Texas Tax Code 151.313):

  • a drug or medicine, other than insulin, if prescribed;
  • insulin;
  • a drug or medicine that is required to be labeled with a "Drug Facts" panel in accordance with regulations of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), without regard to whether it is prescribed;
  • a hypodermic syringe or needle;
  • a brace; hearing aid or audio loop; orthopedic, dental, or prosthetic device; ileostomy, colostomy, or ileal bladder appliance; or supplies or replacement parts for the listed items;
  • a therapeutic appliance, device, and any related supplies specifically designed for those products, if prescribed, when those items are purchased and used by an individual for whom the items listed were dispensed or prescribed;
  • corrective lens and necessary and related supplies, if dispensed or prescribed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist;
  • specialized printing or signalling equipment used by people who are deaf for the purpose of enabling them to communicate through the use of an ordinary telephone and all materials, paper, and printing ribbons used in that equipment;
  • a braille wristwatch, braille writer, braille paper and braille electronic equipment that connects to computer equipment, and the necessary adaptive devices and adaptive computer software;
  • each of the following items if purchased for use by people who are blind to enable them to function more independently: a slate and stylus, print enlarger, light probe, magnifier, white cane, talking clock, large print terminal, talking terminal, or harness for guide dog;
  • hospital beds;
  • blood glucose monitoring test strips;
  • an adjustable eating utensil used to facilitate independent eating if purchased for use by a person, including a person who is elderly or physically disabled, has had a stroke, or is a burn victim, who does not have full use or control of the person's hands or arms, and
  • intravenous systems, supplies, and replacement parts designed or intended to be used in diagnosis or treatment.
  • The following items are exempted from the tax if the item is used by a person who is deaf to enable the person to function more independently:
    • a light signal and device to adapt items such as telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDDs), telephones, doorbells, and smoke alarms;  and
    • adaptive devices or adaptive software for computers used by persons who are deaf.

To document that the sale is exempt from sales tax, the purchaser must give the seller a prescription or a tax exemption certificate available from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Vehicles and Modifications

Taxes do not apply to the sale or use of a motor vehicle that (Texas Tax Code, Section 152.086):

  • has been or will be modified before the second anniversary of the date of purchase for operation by, or for the transportation of, a person with a mobility disability;  and
  • is driven by or used for the transportation of an individual with a mobility disability.

The comptroller may require any individual seeking exemption to present information establishing qualification for the exemption.

The seller of a motor vehicle may not collect the tax from the purchaser of the motor vehicle if the purchaser:

  • signs at the time of the purchase an exemption certificate that is on a form designated by the comptroller; and
  • contains all information the comptroller considers reasonable to establish qualification for the exemption at the time of sale, and presents any other documentation or information the comptroller requires.

If the comptroller finds that the motor vehicle is not used primarily for the purposes specified above ,or that the exemption should not have been granted, the comptroller shall assess the tax in an amount that would have been due had the exemption not been granted.

To receive this exemption, the purchaser must complete the Title Application Tax/Affidavit Form, available from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Property Tax Exemptions

There are several types of exemptions people with disabilities or individuals over 65 can be eligible for:

  • School district taxes: All residence homestead owners are allowed a $25,000 homestead exemption from their home's value for school district taxes.
  • County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead owner is allowed a $3,000 exemption for this tax. If the county grants an optional exemption for homeowners age 65 or older or disabled, the owners will receive only the local-option exemption.
  • Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals age 65 or older or disabled residence homestead owners qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school district taxes, in addition to the $25,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 exemption for age 65 or older homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school district taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.
  • Optional percentage exemptions: Any taxing unit, including a city, county, school or special district, may offer an exemption of up to 20 percent of a residence homestead's value. No matter what the percentage is, the amount of an optional exemption cannot be less than $5,000. Each taxing unit decides if it will offer the exemption and at what percentage. This percentage exemption is added to any other homestead exemption under Tax Code Section 11.13 for which an owner qualifies.  
  • Optional age 65 or older or disabled exemptions: Any taxing unit may offer an additional homestead exemption amount of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older or disabled.

Applying for the property tax exemption:

  • An individual may apply to the appraisal district up to one year after the date they become age 65 or qualify for disability or up to two years after the taxes are due.
  • If the application is approved, they will receive the exemption for the entire year in which they become age 65 or become disabled and for subsequent years as long as they own a qualified homestead.
  • Beginning in 2005, if an individual’s date of birth was on their original homestead application or other written correspondence to the appraisal district about their homestead they will automatically receive the age 65 or older exemption without applying, if they are entitled to the general homestead exemption.

To be eligible for a tax exemption as a person with a disability, an individual must:

  • Qualify to receive disability benefits under the Federal Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration.
  • Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify a person for a property tax exemption.
  • To prove eligibility, an individual may need to provide the appraisal district with information on their disability. Contact the local appraisal district for information on what documents are required to prove eligibility.

Tax limitations for people with disabilities and individuals over 65:

  • If an individual qualifies their residence homestead for an age 65 or older or disabled person homestead exemption for school district taxes, the school district taxes on that homestead cannot increase as long as they own and live in that home.

Property Tax Exemption for Texas Veterans

Tax Code Section 11.131 requires an exemption of the total appraised value of homesteads of Texas veterans who received 100 percent compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) due to a 100 percent disability rating or determination of individual unemployability by the VA. This exemption can only be applied to a residence homestead of a disabled veteran.

A disabled veteran who owns property other than a residence homestead may apply for a different disabled veteran’s exemption under Tax Code Section 11.22 that applied according to the veteran’s disability rating of 10 percent or higher.

An individual must apply to their local appraisal district between Jan. 1 and April 30. Download and print Form 50-114, Application for Residence Homestead Exemption from the Comptroller’s website.

Surviving spouses of veterans who qualified for this exemption or who would have qualified for this exemption if it had been in effect at the time of the veteran's death are eligible if:

  • the surviving spouse has not remarried;
  • the property was the surviving spouse's residence homestead at the time of the veteran's death; and
  • the property remains the surviving spouse's residence homestead.