Remember to File Your Property Tax Exemptions

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:

Hamilton County – Mortgage Exemption

Hendricks County – Mortgage Exemption

Marion County – Mortgage Exemption


To file in person, visit the following county offices:

Boone County Auditor
201 Courthouse Square
Lebanon, IN 46052
765.482.2940


Historic Courthouse in Noblesville
Assessor’s Office, 1st Floor
33 N. 9th St, STE L21
Noblesville, IN 46060
317.776.8401
(more locations…)


Hendricks County Auditor
355 S. Washington STE 202
Danville, IN 46122
317.745.9300

Johnson County Auditor
86 W. Court St.
Franklin, IN 46131
317.346.4310

Marion County Auditor
200 E. Washington St. STE 801
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317.327.3001

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.

 

Additional 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!

 

About Rob Newkirk

Rob is a Central Indiana native and has been a licensed Realtor since 2003. He is a real estate broker, property manager and the owner of Newkirk Realty. Get more from Rob on Twitter and Google+.

Comments

  1. I refinanced my house last year. I had heard of homestead exemption but apparently didnt realize mortgage and homestead were different. After my confusion of digging around the auditors website I called a number on file and they walked me through the form. I thought it was homestead but apparently it was mortgage. Just got my tax statement and my taxes doubled. I’m freaking out as my point in a refi was to save money now my taxes doubled. Is there anything I can do now?

    • Hi Becky,

      Your homestead exemption shouldn’t have fallen off from a refi. How long had you owned your home prior to the refi?
      You could call the county treasurer to see why the rate increased. What county are you in?
      If you’d like to shoot me an email with your property address, I can look into it for you: Contact Rob

  2. Robert L. Mitchell says:

    I filed my Veterans Administration (VA) Disability Exemption in October, 2013 at the Johnson’s County auditors office in Franklin. Chase just did an escrow analysis and said my house payment only reduced by $1.67 a month. My VA Disability Exemption was 20% by itself, plus I filed my mortgage exemption and homestead exemption. We purchased our home in Apr.2011. Shouldn’t Chase Mortgage already have the new tax rate. thank you

    • Hello Robert,

      Yes, if you’ve already received the updated escrow analysis, your exemption should be reflected. The amount of your payment reduction will vary, and depends on the assessed value of your home.
      If you want to send me a message (here) with your address, I will take a look to make sure your exemptions are properly filed.

      -Rob

  3. Sue Dunham says:

    I had 3 properties. I lived in a house with a mortgage and used the homestead exemption. I sold the property in May 2013 and moved in with daughter. I bought A repo’d condo and rented to my granddaughter and friend 4 years ago with out a mortgage. The taxes were outrageous, over $1000 per 6 months. Someone told me it was because of the homestead exemption. I decided to sell it last spring so it was empty for several months. I moved in in December 2013. Can I now use the homestead exemption and what do I do to get my property taxes reduced ? I am close to retirement. Thanks for any help.

    • Hi Sue,

      Yes, the lack of a homestead exemption on the condo would essentially double the property taxes. The mortgage exemption is the smaller (by far) deduction of the two and only saves, on average, $30/year.
      If you moved in the condo back in December, you can absolutely file for the homestead tax exemption. Check the locations above to find the proper forms for your location. If you don’t see your area or need help, let us know.

      Thanks
      -Rob Newkirk

  4. I am in the process of refinancing and the closing should be sometime in December. Do I need to wait for the closing to take place before re-filing for exemption or should I do this prior to closing on the loan?

    • Hi Randy,

      You will need to wait until you close. Your homestead exemption (largest, and most important) will remain through the refi. You will just need to re-file the mortgage exemption after your closing.

      Thanks for dropping by, let us know if you have questions!

  5. Corey Esamann says:

    Do you know approximately how long it takes if you go into the physical office to file the homestead exemption? What documents do I need to bring along? I just need to have it filed by 12/31 correct? Thanks!!

    • I would bring the complete folder of docs you got when you closed, just to be sure. It should only take a few minutes, depending on the number of people there. The closer you get to the 12/31 deadline, the longer the line will likely be. But as long as you show up prior to that, and get it filed, you’re set. Make sure to keep the filing receipt they give you too.

  6. Good info, thank you!

  7. John S. says:

    Thanks for these links, I was searching all over the web for property tax exemption forms.

  8. If I have 3 houses, can i have the mortgage exempt. on all of them?

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Newkirk Realty       |       8606 Allisonville Road, Suite 116   Indianapolis, IN 46250       |       317.578.1141