Heads Up! New Rules For Senior Tax-Freeze Exemptions

Heads Up! New Rules For Senior Tax-Freeze Exemptions

Kane County seniors are eligible for two types of property-tax exemptions that can save them hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

But there are a couple of changes coming up for one of those exemptions — the Senior Tax Freeze — and Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong wants to make sure Kane seniors know about it.

This week, Armstrong’s office mailed 30,000 Senior Freeze Exemption applications to help Kane County seniors better understand the new rules and easily apply for the freeze.

“Under Illinois law, senior taxpayers must reapply annually for the Senior Freeze Exemption in order to continue to receive the deductions on their property tax bills,” Armstrong said. “This is because household incomes change from year to year.”

The Senior Freeze Exemption effectively freezes the taxable valuation of a property at a base year (the year prior to the first year’s approval) preventing the taxable valuation from increasing. The amount of the savings depends upon the cumulative change in valuation and the local property tax rate.

To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for Tax Year 2017 (payable in 2018), taxpayers must have:

  • been born prior to or in the year 1952;
  • a total household income of $55,000 or less for (income) Tax Year 2016;
  • owned the property or had a legal, equitable, or leasehold interest in the property on Jan. 1, 2016, and Jan. 1, 2017;
  • used the property as a principal place of residence as of Jan. 1, 2016 and Jan. 1, 2017; and
  • been liable for the payment of 2016 and 2017 property taxes. Qualifying senior taxpayers should return the applications no later than June 30, 2017, in order to make sure the savings are on their 2017 (payable 2018) property tax bill.

For the first time in 2017, taxpayers must include proof of qualifying income:

  • For senior households where a federal tax return for 2016 has been filed, the applicant must attach a copy of pages 1 and 2 of IRS Form 1040 or 1040A for all members of the household (the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, and anyone else who used the house as a principal dwelling on Jan. 1, 2017).
  • If IRS Form 1040 or 1040A for 2016 includes a deduction for a loss, then Schedules C, D, E, or F must be attached, as well.
  • If any household member is not required to file a return for 2016, a copy of form SSA-1099 or any other 1099 forms must be attached.

Kane County seniors are eligible for a second type of tax relief, as well, called a “Senior Exemption.” The Senior Exemption allows a qualified senior to reduce his or her property’s taxable valuation by $5,000.

Armstrong is reminding seniors that there are no changes at this time in the Senior Exemption, and seniors do not have to annually reapply for that benefit.

“Once it has been applied for and approved, it will be automatically granted for the following year unless we determine that the property is no longer eligible,” Armstrong said.

Eligible seniors who have never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemptions may obtain applications by visiting www.KaneCountyAssessments.org.For more information, please contact the Kane County Assessment Office at 630-208-3818

SOURCE: Kane County Supervisor of Assessments news release