A lot of homeowners have problems with property taxes. If you are one of these homeowners, you may find some assistance through property tax relief. There are several categories of property tax relief, such as property tax relief for senior citizens, for first time homebuyers, for low-income taxpayers, for individual taxpayers, and property tax relief for long-term homeowners.
Such relief for senior citizens is practical because these people have retired to a lower income and can’t afford to pay property taxes that keep increasing over time. The government is at least responding in some degree to the needs of this group of taxpayers who are, obviously, experiencing higher costs on lower incomes.
Relief for first time homebuyers comes in the form of refunds and rebates that can be applied against income taxes. This is another part of the government’s incentive to help shore up the real estate market after its historic decline. Many homebuyers have come on the market as of late because of this property tax relief coupled with the first time homebuyers tax deduction implemented for the 2009 tax season.
Property tax relief for low-income taxpayers makes sense for the same reasons as property tax relief for seniors makes sense. The working poor in this country are facing lower wages than in a long time. Many employers have outsourced jobs and people who were once unemployed are forced back to work for much lower wages than they earned before their layoffs. They call this trend under-employment. Due to under-employment, many families are having trouble hanging on to their homes. Certainly, they are deserving of a break on their property taxes.
The Individual Earned Income Tax Credit gives low income tax payers a refund that includes property taxes. This credit is an example of one of the best poverty reduction tools in existence. It is used in other countries as well, because of its success with helping the working poor. Even so, there are many eligible people who do not take advantage of the Individual Earned Income Tax Credit. All that is involved is the filing of a few forms. There are many non-profit organizations and neighborhood groups willing to help qualified candidates apply for this relief.
Often, long-term homeowners can receive property tax relief through state programs originated to help them out. Many states offer special breaks or rebates to senior citizens. Other type of relief can come in the form of a Homestead Act, which is legislation that many states have adopted in order to provide such relief to long-term homeowners.
In this period of economic downturn, you should be aware of every possible and legal method to reduce your taxes. What about reducing property taxes? Where there are a number of reliefs available. Are you aware of them? Chintamani Abhyankar explains.