Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said it is better to file for the deductions sooner rather than later.
"With the holiday season and winter weather approaching, property owners should file the deduction applications as soon as they are able," Alumbaugh said. "We don't want anyone to miss out on a deduction because they missed the application deadline."
Applications must be completed and dated by Dec. 31, 2010, and must be filed with the Clay County Auditor's Office on or before Jan. 5, 2011 in order for the taxpayer to receive the eligible deductions on 2010 pay 2011 property tax bills.
Alumbaugh emphasized there are eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive property tax deductions.
"For example, to receive the Homestead Standard Deduction, which is by far the largest deduction, an individual or couple must own the residence and live in it as their primary residence," she said. "It can only be used on a single property, so if a person owns more than one property, only the primary residence that is owned will qualify."
In addition to owning the property, residents may also qualify for deductions if they are buying property under contract.
Alumbaugh also urged residents who have moved recently to make sure their information is up-to-date to reflect the most accurate filings.
"It is important to make sure everything is current so residents aren't made responsible for taxes on a property that they no longer reside," she said.
Deduction applications are available at the County Auditor's Office, located on the first floor of the Clay County Courthouse, or may be downloaded from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) website, www.in.gov/dlgf/2344.htm.
Also, persons filing for deductions on annually assessed mobile homes are still required to apply for the deduction during the 12 months before March 31 of each year.
Alumbaugh added her office is willing to help residents who have questions about the eligibility requirements and the application itself.
"We want to make sure property owners are eligible to receive the deduction they are applying for," she said. "Each deduction has its own requirements and some have income limits as well, which we are able to clarify for someone who is not sure if they will be able to receive a deduction."
For more information about property taxes and deductions, visit the DLGF's website at www.in.gov/dlgf.
Specific questions about property tax deduction eligibility should be directed to the Clay County Auditor's Office at 448-9001 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.).