Did you buy a home or refinance your current mortgage this year? If so, remember to file your property tax exemptions by the end of the year! If exemptions aren’t filed, your taxes (and monthly house payment if you escrow property taxes) could go up substantially.
During closing, there are a lot of papers to sign and a lot of information flying around. One of the most important papers is a bright yellow form that was given to you explaining 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 40% on your property tax bill. The homestead deduction is now filed for you at closing, but it never hurts to verify with the county auditor that it is in effect.
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.
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.
How to file
A couple of counties allow you to file your exemptions online. Here are a their links:
Marion County – Mortgage Exemption
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
Again, if you’re not sure about exemptions, call your county auditor’s office or give us a ring and we’ll be happy to take a look for you. Remember, time is of the essence for property tax filings!