Property Tax Exemptions for Active Military & Veterans—Do You Qualify?

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 at 11:10am.

Property Taxes When You're in the MilitaryIn many cases, active-duty military members and retired veterans can qualify for help with their property taxes. However, there are special circumstances for qualifying. Understanding them can help those who are eligible ensure they receive the best benefits.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with an attorney, tax, or financial advisor before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

The Homestead Exemption

Many states offer a homestead exemption that allows property owners to deduct a large portion of their tax bill as long as their home is their primary home. One benefit that many states offer active-duty military members is a way to keep the homestead exemption, even when they might otherwise no longer qualify.

For instance, a home that is rented out typically no longer qualifies for the homestead exemption because it's now an investment generating income. However, states recognize that service members often have to change locations on short notice. Because of this, service members may rent out their homes without abandoning their claim to the homestead exemption. Each state's rules are different, so service members should check local requirements.

Additionally, service members have some leeway when it comes to claiming a homestead exemption. In most cases, another person they've designated with a written authorization can file a homestead exemption on their behalf. This allows people on active duty to benefit from the exemption, even when their obligations mean not being local to file the necessary forms.

Exemptions for Active Duty

In many states, those who are deployed outside the country may be able to apply for an exemption of up to 100 percent of their property tax bill. The percentage of value is typically linked to the percentage of the year spent out of the country on active duty. County tax appraisers will have forms available that can be used to calculate any applicable exemptions.

Exemptions for Those Who Are 65 and Up

Veterans also receive eligibility for property tax exemptions as they age. In many states, those who are 65 years or older with qualified service can get either a partial or full property tax exemption. Surviving spouses are also often eligible for exemptions on property tax.

It pays to research the rules in each state and county, as they can vary widely. Many people do not know what they qualify for until they do the research; few of these benefits are extended automatically. By looking into the policies in the area where you own your home, you can find property tax benefits that can save hundreds or even thousands every year. By identifying eligibility and sending the right forms and applications, earned benefits can be applied. The research it takes can save money every year, leaving more for the benefit of your home.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with an attorney, tax, or financial advisor before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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