Did you buy a home or refinance your mortgage this year? If so, remember to file your property tax exemptions by the end of the year! Even if you didn’t, all Indiana residents still need to complete the homestead verification form to ensure the current exemption stays in place. If exemptions aren’t filed or confirmed by December 31, 2012, your taxes (and monthly house payment if you escrow property taxes) could go up substantially.
During closing, there are a lot of papers flying around. One of the most important is a state-required, bright yellow form and is given to explain the benefits of property tax exemptions.
Exemptions at a glance
There are two main property tax exemptions that most homeowners will qualify for; Homestead & Mortgage. The homestead exemption simply means you are living in the home as your primary residence and it is not a rental house, vacation house, etc. This is by far the most valuable deduction and can save you up to 50% on your property tax bill. The homestead deduction is now filed for you at closing through the sales disclosure, but this is a great time to verify with the county that it is indeed recorded.
The second common deduction is the mortgage exemption. As the name implies, this deduction is available to homeowners who have a mortgage attached to their property. This form is NOT filed for you at closing and must be filed by you, before December 31st in order for the deduction to be in effect for the following year’s property taxes. If you bought or refi-ed your house this year….this means you!
Exemptions do not need to be re-filed each year. Once they’re in place, you’re all set. However, if refinance your home, you MUST re-file your mortgage exemption.
And again, this is the last year to submit your homestead exemption verification form if you already have this tax exemption in place. This is a very important form! This was sent out in 2010, 2011 and 2012 tax bills. You only need to submit this form once in the past 2 years, so now is a great time to ensure the county has it on file. If not, your property taxes could increase by 100%. In Hendricks County, you can actually verify online if your form has not been received, by visiting this site.
How to file
A few counties allow you to file your exemptions online. Here are a those direct links:
To file in person, visit the following county offices:
Marion County Auditor
200 E. Washington St. STE 801
Indianapolis, IN 46204
What to bring when filing in person
When filing your mortgage exemption in person, be sure to bring your drivers’ license and have an approximate amount of the balance owed on your loan. Also make sure that it has been at least 30-days since closing. Your deed will need to be recorded and a good rule of thumb is to wait until after you make your first payment at minimum. If you closed in the month of December, its a good idea to go to the auditors office in person as close to the end of the year as you can and file. Either way, be sure to get and keep the receipt! This is your only proof that you have filed these exemptions.
In addition to the homestead and mortgage exemptions, here are a few more deductions you may qualify for:
- Over 65 – If you are over 65 and have a combined adjusted gross income of $25,000 or less
- Disabled – If you are blind or disabled and have an individual taxable gross income of $17,000 or less
- Disabled Veteran – You have served in U.S. Military and are disabled
- Green exemptions– There are additional deductions for homes utilizing solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal energy systems
- More – For the full list, take a look at the benefits of property tax exemptions form
Homestead Verification Form Downloads
Visit this page for downloads & more info.
If you’re not sure about exemptions, call your county auditor’s office or leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to take a look for you. For specific questions, feel free to call us at 317.578.1141.
Remember, time is of the essence for property tax filings!