As hard working Maine homeowners, we often work more than one job and commute further than residents of other states to support our families and way of life. We Mainers also try to be frugal. That's why when tax time rolls around we need to get the biggest bang for our buck. Many Maine homeowners are unaware of the refunds and exemptions available. Keep reading for some eye-opening pointers to keep in mind this tax season.
General Homestead Exemption
Maine residents who have owned a home in Maine for at least 12 months can apply for this exemption. It doesn't have to be the same home - so long as you owned a home during that period. The exemption makes up to $10,000 of your home's value exempt from your tax bill. For more information, or to locate the application, go to http://www.state.me.us/revenue/faq/homestead_faq.html. Once you qualify, you will likely not have to apply again while you are the homeowner of the same Maine residence.
Active Duty Military Personnel stationed in and who are Maine homeowners are now eligible for this exemption. You must submit along with your application a letter from your commander showing that you are stationed in Maine.
Veterans and surviving family members of veterans may also be eligible for an additional $6,000 of tax exemption. Paraplegic veterans may qualify for an even higher exemption under certain circumstances.
Property Tax Fairness Credit
Qualifying renters and homeowners in Maine may receive a credit for rent or tax paid for your primary residence. This credit works in conjunction with your tax return - in other words, the credit works to offset any amount owed. Credit above the amount owed will be refunded to you. To apply for the credit, you must fill out the Schedule PTFC along with your tax forms. Unlike the General Homestead Exemption, you can qualify for the Property Tax Fairness Credit even if you rented or owned the residence for only a portion of the year. There are limitations based on income and amount(s) paid, however. Go to http://www.maine.gov/revenue/taxrelief/ptfcsummary.htm for more information or for a copy of the application.
Where to Find More
All Maine Homeowners who qualify have access to this tax relief. But there may be even more tax relief available to you, based on either the type of home you own, or the location. Check with your municipal or town office to see if additional tax relief programs are available in your area.
Your accounting professional can also be an invaluable resource when it comes to reducing your tax burden.