Senior Tax Credit FAQs

Why do I have to apply for the Homeowners’ Tax Credit?

By law, applicants for the Senior Tax Credit are required to apply for all other credits that may be available for that property.

What if I know I don’t qualify for the State Homeowners’ Credit since my assessment and taxes are so low, do I still have to apply?

Yes, we are not set up to do the state computation. As long as you meet the 2 minimum requirements (combined gross income does not exceed $45,000 and net worth does not exceed $200,000), you must apply for the Homeowners’ credit.

Can I get an estimated tax credit at this time?

No, all other credits need to be computed before the senior tax credit is calculated.

Do I have to live in the house 6 months prior to July 1, of the current tax year?

No, but it must be your principal residence where you live as of July 1, of the current tax year AND reside at least 6 months of the year thereafter.

If I am over 65 but my spouse is not yet 65 years of age, can I still apply for the Senior Tax Credit?

Yes, as long as one of the owners is at least 65 years of age by June 30, of the current tax year, you can apply.

I own several properties in Howard County. Can I get the Senior Tax credit on all of them?

No, the Senior Tax Credit is only available for residential real property that is used as the principal residence.

Are capital gains included in the income limit?

 Yes, refer to line 13 of the schedule.

What is considered income?

  1. W-2 (Wage & Salary Statement) - Box 1
  2. SSA 1099 (Social Security Statement) - Box 3
  3. 1099R (Distribution From Pension) - All Boxes (If a rollover, attach a copy of the proof of deposits) 
  4. 1099M (Miscellaneous Income) - All Boxes
  5. 1099G (Certain Governement Payments) - Box 1,6 or 7 
  6. 1099Int (Interest Income) - Box 1 or 3
  7. 1099C (Cancelation of Debt) - Box 2 & 3
  8. Schedule C (Profit & Loss from Business) - Line 7 - Gross Income
  9. Schedule D (Capital Gains or Losses) - Total Gains Only
  10. Schedule E (Supplemental Income & Loss) - Lines 3 & 4
  11. Schedule K-1 (Form 1065)  - Total Gains Only

How do I value my annuity for line 21.B?

There are two basic types of Annuities - Immediate Annuities and Deferred Annuities:

Immediate Annuities purpose is to provide for immediate periodic payment for a period of time. That period of time can be fixed OR it can be variable (generally until death). In this way people can make sure that "their money lasts until they die".

Deferred Annuities purpose is to provide for income in the future. In this scenario you make a payment or maybe series of payments into an account which earns something and at some time in the future you are paid a series of payments. This "money" is still legally yours and is an asset.

1) Ask if the annuity is immediate or deferred?
2) If immediate, then the asset value is Zero.
3) If deferred, ask your provider for a quote. It should be the value as of Dec 31 WITHOUT the surrender charge.

If an asset is more than one name (one is the homeowner, the other someone who does not live in the property), how does the asset count toward the $500,000 limit?

The asset would be evenly divided amongst each person.

Is a reverse mortgage counted as income?

No, we do not include this as income because it is looked at similar to a line of credit you might get. The line of credit allows you to get cash whenever needed, but the cash is not income because it has to be paid back on the loan.

If a homeowner is currently in a nursing facility, do they qualify?

Yes, as long as they are still a principle resident on SDAT

If a spouse is sending any portion of their income to pay for nursing home expenses for the other spouse, can this be deducted from the gross income?

Yes, with a letter from the nursing facility verifying the amount paid.

If I don’t have a copy of my SSA-1099 what do I do?

Contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to request a replacement SSA-1099 or go to https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/ to order one for immediate mailing.

If I don’t have a copy of my Railroad Retirement Verification or Rate Letter, what can I do?

Call the RRB Helpline at 877-772-5772 to request a letter or go to www.rrb.gov to get the info online.

If I don’t have a copy of my VA Benefits letter, what can I do?

Call VA Benefits office at 800-827-1000