The Homestead Exemption allows senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans to reduce their property tax burden by shielding some of the market value of their home from taxation. The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their home from all local property taxes. For example, through the Homestead Exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 would be billed as if it is worth $75,000. The exact amount of savings will vary from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners should save an average of $300-$400 per year.
Q. How has the Homestead Exemption changed?
A. The Homestead Exemption is available to all Ohio homeowners who are either age 65 or older or permanently and totally disabled AND who have an Ohio Adjusted Gross Income of $30,500 or less (combined if married). These changes were made by the State of Ohio to be applied beginning January 1, 2014. Previously, eligibility for the Homestead Exemption was not restricted through income testing and was open to any persons age 65 and older and/or permanently and totally disabled, as long as they owned and occupied the home as their primary place of residence. All households who qualify for the Homestead Exemption will still receive a flat $25,000 property tax exemption on the market value of their home.
Q. When does the new Homestead Exemption start?
A. The new Homestead Exemption starts with 2014 tax bills payable in 2015. For manufactured or mobile homes, bills paid in 2014 cover the 2014 tax year.
Q. Who qualifies for the new Homestead Exemption?
A. Any Ohio resident homeowner who:
- Is at least 65 years of age; or
- Is totally and permanently disabled as of January 1st of the prior year as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency; or
- Is the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the previous Homestead Exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death; and Have an Ohio Adjusted Gross Income in 2013 (combined if married) of $30,500 or less.
To qualify, an Ohio resident also must own and occupy a home as their principal place of residence as of January 1st of the prior year for real property or January 1st of the current year for manufactured home property. For individuals who own more than one home, the principal place of residence is the home where the person is registered to vote and the person’s place of residence for income tax purposes.
Q. Will the 2014 changes to the Homestead Exemption affect those who are already receiving the Homestead Exemption?
A. No, if you are already receiving the Homestead Exemption than you will not be affected by the 2014 changes. You will continue to receive the exemption and do not have to reapply. Those taxpayers who have applied and been granted the Homestead Exemption for years prior to 2014 will be grandfathered in under the prior qualifying guidelines. If at any time your circumstances change and you believe you may no longer qualify for the Homestead Exemption, you must notify the county auditor.
Q. If I have been granted the Homestead Exemption during or prior to tax year 2013 but have moved or changed residencies, can I transfer the exemption to my new residence?
A. Individuals who received the homestead exemption for tax year 2013 (2014 for manufactured and mobile homes) on any residence may continue to receive the homestead exemption on another residence within the state without meeting the income test currently required for the exemption, if a different residence otherwise meets the qualification of the homestead. In order to assure that an applicant has previously received the homestead exemption for the aged and/or disabled, certain information must be made available to the county auditor. This is done by submitting form DTE 105G: Addendum to the Homestead Exemption Application for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons and Surviving Spouses.
Q. How do I apply for the Homestead Exemption?
A. To apply, complete the application form DTE 105A Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses then file it with your local county auditor. The form is available from county auditors and from the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.ohio.gov.
Q. What’s the deadline to apply?
A. Applications for first time filers must be filed with the county auditor by the first Monday in June.
Q. Where do I apply?
A. The application must be filed with the county auditor of the county in which the property is located.
Q. May I file electronically?
A. Not at this time. A paper copy of the application bearing your original signature must be filed with the county auditor of the county in which your home is located.
Q. How will I know if my application has been approved?
A. If the county auditor approves your application, your reduction will appear on the first tax bill you receive for payment in the current year. If the county auditor denies your application, you will receive a notice informing you of and explaining the reason for the denial. If you believe your application was improperly denied, you may appeal the auditor’s decision to the county Board of Revision by filing form DTE 106B, Homestead Exemption and 2.5% Reduction Complaint, on or before the deadline for paying the first-half taxes (in most counties, the due date is in January or February). Owners of manufactured or mobile homes may also appeal the denial of a Homestead Exemption application, but their complaint forms must be filed no later than January 31 of the current year. The complaint form is available from the county auditor or at the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.ohio.gov.
Q. How do I show proof of age and income?
A. The application form requires individuals to report their age and date of birth as well as their social security number, for income testing purposes, and it is signed under penalty of perjury. Ohio law also provides that anyone who makes a false statement for purposes of obtaining a Homestead Exemption is guilty of a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Individuals convicted of such a misdemeanor are ineligible to receive the Homestead Exemption for the three years following the conviction and must pay any improperly exempted tax, plus interest. Your county auditor may require some evidence of age, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate.
Q. What documentation do I need to provide to prove my disability?
A. If you are claiming a physical disability, you must file form 105E signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Ohio. If you are claiming a mental disability, you must have the certificate signed by a physician or psychologist licensed to practice in Ohio. You may also submit a certificate from any state or federal agency that classifies you as permanently and totally disabled. File Form 105E with Form 105A Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses. The form is available from your county auditor or at the Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.ohio.gov.
Q. For estate planning purposes, I placed the title to my property in a trust. Can I still receive the Homestead Exemption?
A. You are eligible for the Homestead Exemption if all of the following are true:
- You created the trust to be effective during your lifetime (an inter vivos trust). You provided the assets for the trust (you are the settler). – You can terminate the trust at any time (it is a revocable trust).
- The trust agreement contains a provision that says you have complete possession of the property.
Most of the other common forms of property ownership (such as survivorship deeds) also qualify for the exemption. If you have questions about what constitutes eligible home ownership for the Homestead Exemption, consult your county auditor.
Q. Will I have to apply every year to receive the Homestead Exemption?
A. No. However, if your circumstances change and you no longer qualify for the Homestead Exemption, you must notify the county auditor by the first Monday in June. In January the county auditor will mail you a copy of the continuing application form (DTE 105B, Continuing Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses). Please return this form to the auditor only if you no longer own the home, no longer occupy it as your primary place of residence, or if your disability status has changed.
Q. I’ll save quite a bit of money through the Homestead Exemption. Will this hurt my local schools?
A. The State of Ohio reimburses school districts and local governments for the amount of revenue taxpayers save through the Homestead Exemption. Local governments and schools do not lose out.