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What Homeowners Need to Know About Georgia Homestead Exemption

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

The deadline is soon


The filing deadline is April 1 for anyone who purchased before January 1, 2023. Homestead and taxation attach to the person who owned the home on January 1.


What is Property Tax Homestead Exemption in Georgia?


State v. County Property Tax Exemptions

Below is taken directly from the Georgia Department of Revenue website. These are the exemptions that are guaranteed under state law. Counties have the right to provide additional exemptions and many do. County exemptions are on the tax assessor’s website for each county. The Georgia Department of Revenue site includes a link to each Georgia county with online assessor sites.


Homestead Exemptions Offered by the State per Georgia Department of Revenue

  • Standard Homestead Exemption

The home of each resident of Georgia that is actually occupied and used as the primary residence by the owner may be granted a $2,000 exemption from county and school taxes except for school taxes levied by municipalities and except to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness. The $2,000 is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead. The owner of a dwelling house of a farm that is granted a homestead exemption may also claim a homestead exemption in participation with the program of rural housing under contract with the local housing authority. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-44)

  • Individuals 65 Years of Age and Older May Claim a $4,000 Exemption

Individuals 65 years of age or over may claim a $4,000 exemption from all county ad valorem taxes if the income of that person and his spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the prior year. Income from retirement sources, pensions, and disability income is excluded up to the maximum amount allowed to be paid to an individual and his spouse under the federal Social Security Act. The social security maximum benefit for 2019 is $68,664. The owner must notify the county tax commissioner if for any reason they no longer meet the requirements for this exemption. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-47)

  • Individuals 62 Years of Age and Older May Claim Additional Exemption for Educational Purposes

Individuals 62 years of age or over that are residents of each independent school district and of each county school district may claim an additional exemption from all ad valorem taxes for educational purposes and to retire school bond indebtedness if the income of that person and his spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the prior year. Income from retirement sources, pensions, and disability income is excluded up to the maximum amount allowed to be paid to an individual and his spouse under the federal Social Security Act. The social security maximum benefit for 2019 is $68,664. The owner must notify the county tax commissioner if for any reason they no longer meet the requirements for this exemption. This exemption may not exceed $10,000 of the homestead’s assessed value.(O.C.G.A. §48-5-52)

  • Floating Inflation-Proof Exemption

Individuals 62 years of age or over may obtain a floating inflation-proof county homestead exemption, except for taxes to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness, based on natural increases in the homestead’s value. If the appraised value of the home has increased by more than $10,000, the owner may benefit from this exemption. Income, together with spouse or any other person residing in the house cannot exceed $30,000. This exemption does not affect any municipal or educational taxes and is meant to be used in the place of any other county homestead exemption. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-47.1)

  • Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse

Any qualifying disabled veteran may be granted an exemption of $60,000 plus an additional sum from paying property taxes for county, municipal, and school purposes. The additional sum is determined according to an index rate set by United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The amount for 2019 is $85,645. The value of the property in excess of this exemption remains taxable. This exemption is extended to the unremarried surviving spouse or minor children as long as they continue to occupy the home as a residence. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48)

  • Surviving Spouse of U.S. Service Member

The unremarried surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces who was killed in or died as a result of any war or armed conflict will be granted a homestead exemption from all ad valorem taxes for county, municipal and school purposes in the amount of $60,000 plus an additional sum. The additional sum is determined according to an index rate set by United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The amount for 2019 is $85,645. The surviving spouse will continue to be eligible for the exemption as long as they do not remarry.(O.C.G.A. § 48-5-52.1)

  • Surviving Spouse of Peace Officer or Firefighter

The unremarried surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty will be granted a homestead exemption for the full value of the homestead for as long as the applicant occupies the residence as a homestead. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-48.4).


Homestead can be filed throughout the year


For many years the owner had to wait until after January 1 following their purchase to file for homestead exemption. Georgia now allows filing as soon as the ownership deed is recorded but will not take effect until January 1 following the purchase.


Some changes in ownership require refiling


Adding someone to title should not affect homestead but it is always best to check between January 1 and April 1 after the change to make sure that the homestead was not dropped by the county tax assessor in error.

Removing someone from title may affect the homestead exemption depending upon the circumstances. Again, it is always best to confirm that the homestead is still in place between January 1 and April 1 after the change.

Moving the property into a Trust does not eliminate the homestead exemption. Homestead does need to be refiled after transferring ownership to a Trust.


Owners need to refile if they qualify for additional exemptions.


If a homeowner did not qualify for senior exemptions, military and first responder exemptions or need-based exemptions when they originally filed, the homeowner must refile to claim the additional exemptions. The county will not automatically apply exemptions when a homeowner reaches the senior exemption age since the county tax assessor has no record of the age of the homeowner.


How to file?


Our website includes links for many of the Georgia counties filing information. Some counties allow for online application and some require the document to be physically sent to or brought to the county tax assessor’s office. Given the time deadline, it is not recommended to use regular mail to file for homestead exemption. If the county you are looking for it not on our site, googling {Your County} Georgia homestead exemption should get you to the right place.


Want to listen to our podcast discussion of Georgia Homestead Exemption?



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Cheryl King

Closing Attorney | Partner, Thomas & Brown | Podcaster | REALTOR®

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