Time to file for deductions arrives

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By The Staff

PERRY COUNTY - 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 June 10 of this year will be applied to taxes payable in 2009, except for the Homestead Credit-Standard Deduction, which can be filed until Dec. 31, 2008, and then it will be applied to taxes payable in 2009.

Following is an explanation of what may qualify taxpayers as having a change in status:

Mortgage Deduction

If a taxpayer mortgaged or refinanced real property between March 1, 2007, and March 1, 2008, an application needs to be filed by June 10, 2008. When the mortgage balance falls below $3,000, the taxpayer is required to report the amount of indebtedness as of March 1, 2008. 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 March 1, 2008, 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, 2007. The assessed value of real estate has a limit of $160,000. The adjusted gross income limit for an individual filing is less than $30,000 or joint income of less than $40,000. A taxpayer is required to present a copy of their 2007 income tax return, if one has been filed. If the taxpayer who has been filing this deduction died between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2008, the surviving spouse is required to file in 2008. The maximum allowable deduction is $12,480 and it must be filed by June 10, 2008.

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, 2007, 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 March 1, 2007, and March 1, 2008, the surviving spouse must be certified through the Veterans Administration and file the deduction by June 10, 2008. 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 June 10, 2008.

Homestead Credit-Standard Deduction

A homestead property tax credit is filed on a property owner's principal place of residence. Only if a person's status has changed between March 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008, would they need to refile the homestead credit. The filing deadline for this credit is Dec. 31, 2008, for taxes payable in 2009.

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 2009.

Geothermal Deduction

Any taxpayer who filed a geothermal deduction in 2002 or 2003 does not need to refile the deduction again until the next reassessment year. 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 REC, 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 June 10, 2008.

Non-Taxable Exemption

Not-for-profit corporations are now required to file a property tax exemption every two years in even-numbered years. In other words, not-for-profit organizations must refile this year. Churches, religious societies and cemeteries are required to refile only if additional real estate has been purchased, their name has changed, or some other change has occurred in relation to the property. Exemption applications must be filed by May 15, 2008 (Thursday), to be effective on taxes payable in 2009. This deduction is filed in the county assessor's office. Call the assessor's office at 547-5531 if you have any questions on a nontaxable exemption.

Residents who have not filed for any of the above deductions or who have any questions pertaining to them, should call the auditor's office at 547-6427, or visit the office in Suite W-3 at the courthouse.