Even though residents are preparing to pay their property taxes for this year, it is never too early to plan ahead for next year.
"With the Property Tax Replacement Credit no longer an option starting next year, homeowners in Clay County should look into getting all the deductions they can," Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said.
There are a total of 12 different deductions that residents have the opportunity to receive, including the Homestead and Homestead Standard Deduction credits.
"It's as easy as filling out the application," Alumbaugh said. "Those who recently purchased a home can apply for some of them when they fill out the Sales Disclosure form."
Those who have owned their home for a while, yet are not receiving the Standard Deduction Credit may still apply for it through the Auditor's Office. The Standard Deduction is by far the largest credit a resident may receive. The deduction will be $44,000 off of the gross assessed value for property taxes that will come due in 2009.
"Another major plus to some of the deductions is that there is no income or assessed value limit to prevent anyone from receiving the credit," Alumbaugh said. "Also, with the passage of House Bill 1293, there really isn't a residency restriction anymore either."
Other than the Age 65 or Over and Income-Based Credit, a resident can qualify for a deduction if they own the real estate by Dec. 31.
There is also a limit on how much a property can be worth to receive a few of the credits:
* Age 65 or Over -- $182,430 for Real Estate or Mobile Home,
* Income-Based Credit -- Assessed Value of $160,000, and
* Disabled Veteran -- $143,160 for Real Estate and Personal Property combined.
"If a resident filed for the Age 65 or Over deduction, they may also only receive the Mortgage, Homestead and Standard Deduction Credits," Alumbaugh said. "Applying for that deduction nullifies eligibility for all of the other credits."
Going green can also lead to additional deductions.
There are a total of four deductions for having Solar Energy Heating/Cooling Systems, Wind Power Devices, Hydroelectric Power Devices and Geothermal Devices.
For all of these deductions, the amount of the credit is equal to the difference of the assessed value of the property with the system or device and the value without.
"Residents have so many options when it comes to property tax deductions," Alumbaugh said. "It truly is a benefit for everyone to file for as many of them as they can so they can receive a higher deduction."
For more information on the Homestead Credit and deductions, visit www.in.gov/dlgf/2344.htm.
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