Frequently asked questions
Specific questions about property tax deduction eligibility or the homestead verification form should be directed to the county auditor. Additional information is available on the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance’s website at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/8455.htm.
Frequently asked questions:
Q. My property is not my primary residence and I am not claiming the homestead deduction on this property. Do I need to complete the form for this property?
A. You only need to complete the form if the property is your primary residence and you are currently claiming the homestead deduction on the property. For example, if the property is a rental or second residence, the form does not need to be completed for that property.
Q. My property is my primary residence, but I have not been claiming the homestead deduction. What do I do?
A. If you wish to begin claiming the homestead deduction on the property (and are not receiving homestead benefits on any other property), you should complete an application for the deduction and file it with the county auditor.
Q. My property is not my primary residence. However, I just realized that I have been receiving the homestead on this property. What should I do?
A. You should notify the county auditor immediately and have the deduction removed from the property.
Q: I filed a Homestead Verification Form in 2010. In the last year, I sold that residence and purchased a new home and am receiving a homestead deduction on the new home. Do I need to re-file the Homestead Verification Form?
A. Yes, because this is a different homestead from the first one. You should have received a pink form with your tax bill in 2012. If you did not receive the pink form, you should contact your county auditor to complete one before the end of 2012.
Q. I don’t have a driver’s license or Social Security number. What should I provide on the verification form?
B. If you or your spouse (if any) does not have a driver’s license or Social Security number, the last five digits of a state identification number or the last five digits of a control number on a document issued by the federal government such as a passport or work visa may be provided instead. These numbers are acceptable only if an individual legitimately does not have a driver’s license or Social Security number and must be accompanied by an explanation of the type of number provided (i.e., passport number, work visa, state identification number).
Q. My driver’s license is from another state. Can I provide the last five digits of this number?
A. Yes. You are not required to provide an Indiana driver’s license or identification card to receive the homestead deduction. However, if you provide out-of-state identification, the county auditor may request additional information to prove the Indiana property is your primary residence.
Q. I am married but my spouse is not an owner of the property. Does my spouse need to provide the last five digits of his or her Social Security and driver’s license numbers?
A. Yes. A married couple is limited to one homestead deduction regardless of living arrangements or property ownership. Therefore, the identification numbers of both spouses are required. Only if a couple is legally divorced would both individuals be eligible for a homestead deduction.
Q. How will my identification numbers be used?
A. Your identification numbers will be used by county auditors to prevent homestead fraud. Your numbers will be entered into a secure homestead database that allows county auditors to track homesteads statewide and ensure that each individual or married couple is claiming only one homestead deduction.
Q. What happens if I do not complete the form?
A. Your homestead deduction can be removed beginning with the 2012-pay-2013 property tax bills if you do not return a completed form to the auditor on or before Dec. 31, 2012. You must have completed the homestead verification form at least once in 2010, 2011 or 2012. If you have not completed and returned the form after the 2012 tax bills are mailed, you will receive a final notification letter from the county auditor requesting verification and identification numbers.
Q. What is the penalty for falsely claiming a homestead deduction?
A. If a taxpayer fails to notify the appropriate county auditor of his or her ineligibility for the homestead deduction, the taxpayer will be liable for any additional taxes that would have been due on the property, plus a 10 percent civil penalty