Revisiting Your Property Taxes
As the saying goes, April showers bring May…property tax payments. Or maybe it’s flowers? Regardless, spring can mean different things to all of us, but one common denominator in Minnesota is the payment of one-half of our property taxes. Making this payment should be a reminder to see if you qualify for a refund. Many people qualify for this type of refund when they are younger, as a renter or homeowner, but then phase out as their household income grows. However, retirement can present a unique opportunity to re-qualify for a property tax refund, especially if you retire and then delay collecting Social Security and/or other retirement income like pensions.
To qualify for a regular property tax refund in Minnesota, you must meet the following income guidelines:
|Status||Household income||Potential Refund|
|Renter||Less than $62,340||Up to $2,190|
|Homeowner||Less than $115,020||Up to $2,820|
There’s also a special property tax refund for homeowners that experienced a tax increase of more than 12% from one year to the next, and this special refund is not income-limited.
Property tax refunds are due on August 15. Taxpayers are allowed to file up to one year after that due date. For example, 2019 refunds have a due date of August 15, 2020, but you can still file for a 2019 refund until August 15, 2021. That means that you still have an opportunity to file for a 2018 property tax refund right now! Most tax software programs should be able to assist with the filing of the refund forms (M1PR) if you self-prepare, but CPAs and other tax preparers should be well-versed in this form too. Calculating household income for the purposes of this filing requires some additional effort, but can result in a decent refund.
If you can’t remember the last time you qualified for a property tax refund, we encourage you to revisit this topic. It may be as simple as looking at your most recent tax return or asking your CPA to confirm that your household income does or does not fit into the guidelines. Consider this a bit of spring cleaning just like your other to-dos this time of year! The White Oaks’ Team is also here to answer any questions you may have.
Laura Bereiter, CPA, PFS™, CFP® joined White Oaks Wealth Advisors in October 2015. She offers comprehensive wealth, tax, and estate planning to the firm’s clients.