The deadline to file your claim for an up to $7,000 property tax exemption is February 15, 2018 – after that date, you will only be eligible to receive 80% of the exemption. I know that most of us are concentrating on getting our personal income tax filed by April 18 and claiming the up to $6,318 in federal earned income tax credits (EITC), up to $2,775 in state EITC, and other appropriate deductions. But don’t forget about your Homeowner’s property tax exemption!
To claim the Homeowners’ Exemption, you must be an owner, co-owner, or purchaser listed on the contract of sale for your principle place of residence. To determine whether your property is your principal place of residence, think about the address on your voter registration, your car registration, and where you return after work. Essentially, this is the place where you will live for the majority of your time this year.
Much to my dismay, over 400,000 taxpayers in Los Angeles County and 27,000 taxpayers in Ventura County forget to claim their Homeowner’s property tax exemption, according to Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang and Ventura County Assessor Dan Goodwin. During these times of Tax Reform it is important that homeowners familiarize themselves with the various tax deductions, credits, and exemptions to minimize their tax liabilities, maximize their refunds, and lower their cost of living.
With over 8 million Californians living in poverty and an epidemic of homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction throughout the state, lowering one’s tax liability is one way to stimulate the economy and create jobs. In Los Angeles County the population of low-income individuals is higher than the average for the state. The Homeowner’s Exemption and the federal and state EITC are a few of many forms of tax relief available to them that can help them survive the high cost of living in California.
For more information on how to file your claim to receive the full property tax exemption, and for answers to any questions you may have, visit my website at http://boe.ca.gov/members/horton/property_taxes.html. Also, to get free tax preparation assistance, find a Volunteer Income Tax (VITA) site near you at https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/. VITA services are offered at convenient times and locations in Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino Counties during tax season.