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Auditor reminds residents of property-tax deductions

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By The Staff

TELL CITY — County Auditor Connie A. Berger would like to remind taxpayers to file for property tax deductions and exemptions.  The one-time filing of deductions or exemptions is still in effect unless your status has changed.  Any deductions filed by Dec. 31 of this year will be applied to taxes payable in 2010.    Following is an explanation of what may qualify taxpayers as having a change in status.

Mortgage Deduction

If a taxpayer mortgaged real property or refinanced between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009, an application needs to be filed by Dec. 31, 2009. When the mortgage balance falls below $3,000, the taxpayer is required to report the amount of indebtedness.  The maximum allowable deduction is $3,000.

If you are buying real estate on contract, you are eligible for the mortgage deduction if you meet the following requirements:  the contract must be in effect Dec. 31, 2009, recorded in the County Recorder's Office, and it must state that the contract buyer is to pay the property taxes.

Age 65 Deduction

To file an Age 65 deduction, the taxpayer must be 65 years or older by Dec. 31, 2009. The assessed value of real estate has a limit of $182,430. The adjusted gross income limit for filing is less than $25,000. A taxpayer is required to present a copy of their 2008 income tax return, if one has been filed. If the taxpayer who has been filing this deduction died between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009, the surviving spouse is required to file in 2009.  The maximum allowable deduction is $12,480 and it must be filed by Dec. 31, 2009.

To file an Over Age 65 Circuit Breaker Credit, the taxpayer must be 65 years or older by Dec. 31, 2009.  The assessed value of real estate has a limit of $160,000.  

The adjusted gross income limit for filing is less than $30,000 for individuals and $40,000 for married couples. A taxpayer is required to present a copy of their 2008 income tax return, if one has been filed.  The maximum allowable deduction equals the tax liability minus the product of tax liability for preceding year multiplied by 1.02 and it must be filed by Dec. 31, 2009.  

Disabled Veterans Deduction

There are four situations under which deductions are allowed to disabled veterans and World War I veterans and their surviving spouses.  They are as listed:

Total disability - $12,480 deduction, assessed value limit is $113,000.

Service connected disability - $24,960 deduction

World War I Veteran - $18,720 deduction.

Surviving spouse of World War I veteran - $18,720 deduction.

Veterans currently receiving a deduction and who are 62 years of age as of Dec. 31, 2009, are also eligible for an additional $6,000 deduction, with the total Disabled Veterans deduction to not exceed $37,440.  

 If the veteran who had been filing for this deduction died between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009, the surviving spouse must be certified through the Veterans Administration and file the deduction by Dec. 31, 2009.  If the survivor remarries, the Auditor needs to be notified.

Blind or Disabled Deduction

Blind deduction requires a written statement from an Indiana physician.  Disabled deduction requires a written statement from an Indiana physician or a federal Social Security Administration statement of disability.  The taxable gross income limit is $17,000, and the deduction amounts to $12,480.  This deduction must be filed by Dec. 31, 2009.

Homestead Credit- Standard Deduction

A homestead property tax credit is filed on a property owner's principal place of residence.  Only if your status has changed between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009, would you need to re-file the homestead credit.   The filing deadline for this credit is Dec. 31, 2009, for taxes payable in 2010.

The standard deduction has been provided for the individual who qualifies for the homestead credit. The standard deduction is equal to the lesser of $45,000 or 60 percent of the assessed valuation of the qualifying residential portion of the assessed valuation for taxes payable in 2010.

Geothermal Deduction

Any taxpayer who has filed a geothermal deduction does not need to refile the deduction. However, taxpayers who have recently installed geothermal heating in their home but have not previously filed for this deduction may also be eligible to file.  

If you have received notification from Southern Indiana Power, but have not applied for your certification with the Department of Environmental Management, filing needs to be done soon, so the deduction can be filed in the Auditor's Office by Dec. 31, 2009.

If you have not filed for any of the above deductions or if you have any questions pertaining to deductions, call the Auditor's office at 547-6427, or visit the office in Suite W-3 at the courthouse.  You may also access the Dept. of Local Government Finance Web site www.  in.gov/dlgf/2344.htm for more information about deductions and exemptions.