Study the Texas Property Tax Code. Find it online here:
The following portion of the Texas Property Tax Code is key to End of Year Processing:
Sec. 11.42. Exemption Qualification Date
(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c) and by Sections 11.421, 11.422, 11.434, 11.435, and 11.436, eligibility for and amount of an exemption authorized by this chapter for any tax year are determined by a claimant's qualifications on January 1. A person who does not qualify for an exemption on January 1 of any year may not receive the exemption that year.
(b) An exemption authorized by Section 11.11 is effective immediately on qualification for the exemption.
(c) An exemption authorized by Section 11.13(c) or (d) is effective as of January 1 of the tax year in which the person qualifies for the exemption and applies to the entire tax year.
(d) A person who acquires property after January 1 of a tax year may receive an exemption authorized by Section 11.17, 11.18, 11.19, 11.20, 11.21, 11.23, or 11.30 for the applicable portion of that tax year immediately on qualification for the exemption.
Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2245, ch. 841, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 640, § 2, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, § 6.1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 345, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1039, § 16, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1059, § 1, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1155, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1481, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 411, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.
Exemption application required, see Sec. 11.43(a).
Exemption application forms, see Rule Sec. 9.415.
Filing deadline for property acquired after January 1, see Sec. 11.43(d).
Prorating taxes for exemption for part of tax year, see Secs. 26.112 and 26.113.
Tax Code Section 11.42(a) requires a person and the real property to qualify for a tax exemption as of January 1 to receive an exemption for that tax year. A mid-year transfer of real property from a nonexempt owner to an exempt owner does not alter the taxable character of the property during the tax year. A church is not entitled to a property tax exemption on property purchased in the middle of the tax year. Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-96-062 (1996). (The 75th Texas Legislature amended Section 11.42(a) to provide for immediate qualification for a religious organization exemption, effective January 1, 1998.)
Texas courts have consistently required property to be assessed at its value on January 1. See Lo-Vaca Gathering Co. v. Matagorda County, 664 S.W.2d 802 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1984, no writ); State v. Republic Natural Gas Co., 181 S.W.2d 592 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1943, writ ref'd w.o.m.). As a result, an exemption takes effect on January 1 following the year in which the person or the property qualified for the exemption. The attorney general has approved a January 1 cut-off date for the over-65 homestead exemption. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. H-9 (1983); Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. H-548 (1975).