What is a homestead credit and who qualifies?
A homestead credit is a statutory reduction in the general property tax for certain property that is occupied as a person's primary place of residence. In order to qualify for homestead credit you must meet all of the following requirements:
- You must be one of the owners of the property or be a qualifying relative of one of the owners.
- You must occupy the property as your primary place of residence. Token occupancy does not qualify.
- You must be a Minnesota resident.
What do I have to do to get homestead credit?
To receive homestead you must comply with all the following requirements:
- You must qualify as outlined above. You will be required to show proof of ownership and may be required to show proof of occupancy.
- You must file a completed homestead application as provided by the Assessor's Office. If a non-homestead property is purchased or if you homestead your existing property after January 2 but before December 1, of a given year application must be made by December 15th of that year.
- You must provide the names and social security numbers of all owners and/or relatives of the owners of the property claiming homestead.
- All of the owners and, if the property is occupied by a relative, all of the owner's relatives claiming homestead must sign the application.
- A Certificate of Real Estate Value must be filed whenever real estate is sold for more than $1000. If a CRV is not filed, the homestead cannot be granted pursuant to M.S. 272.115.
Why must I provide my social security number?
Even though social security numbers are private information, under M.S. 273.123 Subd.13, they must be provided before a homestead can be granted. Social Security numbers will be used with the help of the Department of Revenue to determine if owners or relatives of owners have applied for more than one homestead.
How often do I have to apply for homestead?
Once the property is granted the homestead classification, it will not be necessary for you or your qualifying relative to reapply for the classification. However, at any time, the County Assessor may require you to provide an additional application or such proof as they deem necessary to verify that you continue to meet the requirements of the homestead classification. Relatives who are not owners must re-apply yearly.
What will happen if I file a false homestead claim?
A property owner who obtains or attempts to obtain homestead classification for a property other than his or her primary place of residence or the primary place of residence of his or her qualifying relative is under state law subject to a fine of up to $3000 and/or up to one year of imprisonment (M.S. 609.41). In addition the property owner will be required to pay all tax which is due on the property based on the correct property class plus a penalty equal to the same amount (M.S. 273.124, Subd. 13).
What if I move?
If at any time the property is sold, or you change your primary residence, state law requires that you notify the County Assessor within 30 days. If you fail to notify the County Assessor within the 30 days, you may be required to pay the tax which is due on the property based on the correct property class plus a penalty of the same amount.
Blind, Disabled & Paraplegic Homesteads
A reduced class rate for homestead property is provided for any person who:
- Is blind, the blind individual and their spouse, or
- Is permanently and totally disabled and
- Meets specific disability income guidelines
These programs differ from regular homesteads in that the determination for eligibility is determined by the Department of Revenue. Taxpayers seeking this special homestead classification for the disabled or blind must make application to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. For an application or more information, call the Minnesota Department of Revenue at (651) 556-6087.