As a senior citizen, you can save money on taxes. Taxes are one of life’s few certainties, and retirees are generally in an unusual situation when it comes to property taxes.
While home values and hence property taxes continue to rise, retirees’ incomes remain stagnant. Although several states have made moves to reduce the tax load on senior citizens. And one of the successful attempts is the senior property tax exemptions.
What are property tax exemptions for senior citizens?
A senior property tax exemption lowers the amount of taxes that seniors must pay on their homes. They are one of the most disliked taxes in the United States, owing to the significant difficulty it poses for pensioners with its intermittent rise and constant stagnancy of incomes.
As a result, states have enacted tax relief schemes for some homeowners, including senior folks. But surprisingly, the state, county, or city body in charge of collecting your property taxes often never informs you that you are eligible for a tax break.
Therefore, you must determine if you are eligible and then request the tax deduction for which you are entitled.
Exemptions from property taxes are derived as follows:
To begin, understand that property tax exemptions have no bearing on the tax rate. They also don’t usually get deducted from your taxes. Rather, they diminish the taxable value of your home.
Some jurisdictions provide a percentage off of home valuations, while others provide dollar amounts.
Exemptions can save you a lot of money depending on where you reside, how much your house is worth, and which exemptions you qualify for. The first step, however, is to research and apply for any property exemptions available in your area.
How to Get a Senior Citizen Tax Break
State-by-state property tax policies differ significantly. Senior citizens who meet the state’s requirements are eligible for a tax break. Most states, for example, have these two qualifications:
To receive a senior property tax exemption, you must be at least 65 years old and the claimant must live in the house as their primary residence.
Senior property tax exemptions often have a minimum age requirement of 61 to 65 years old. While several states, such as New York, Texas, and Massachusetts, require seniors to be 65 or older.
Although you must be 65 or older to qualify in New Hampshire, as you get older, you will receive a larger exemption.
Also, many places have their own set of criteria for income. You may be disqualified if you earn too much money, or your exemption amount may be reduced.
The local rules for senior property tax exemptions can usually be found on an official government website dedicated to taxes, revenue, or finance in most states.
What you need to know about claiming senior citizen property tax relief
It’s critical to submit your application for a senior tax exemption before the time set by your state. The due dates for each state vary.
Note that property tax exemption applications are usually submitted to your local county tax office and the deadlines for lodging, as well as the relevant papers and instructions, may all be found on most states’ websites.
Also, asides from the state’s provision of basic exemption, the county may provide additional benefits. So whether you’re applying for state or county tax exemptions, you should contact your county’s tax commissioner or tax assessor’s office for more information or clarification on whether you qualify for tax exemptions.
Finally, when it comes to paying taxes, no one relishes paying even a penny more than is required. So if you don’t know how to qualify for a tax exemption, you may be paying too much in property taxes.
While it is true that taxes are nearly always inevitable, many jurisdictions offer some form of tax relief for retirees when it comes to property taxes.