RULE 701-80.1 - Homestead tax credit

RULE 701-80.1. Homestead tax credit

(1) Application for credit.

a. No homestead tax credit shall be allowed unless the first application for homestead tax credit is signed by the owner of the property or the owner's qualified designee and filed with the city or county assessor on or before July 1 of the current assessment year. Once filed, the claim for credit is applicable to subsequent years and no further filing shall be required provided the homestead is owned and occupied by the claimant or the claimant's spouse on July 1 of each year and, in addition, the claimant or the claimant's spouse occupies the homestead for at least six months during each calendar year in which the fiscal year for which the credit is claimed begins. It is not a requirement that the six-month period of time be consecutive. If the credit is disallowed and the claimant failed to give written notice to the assessor that the claimant ceased to use the property as a homestead, a civil penalty equal to 5 percent of the amount of the disallowed credit shall be assessed against the claimant in addition to the amount of credit allowed. The assessor, county auditor, and county board of supervisors shall act on the claim in accordance with Iowa Code section 425.3. A claim filed after July 1 of any calendar year applies to the following assessment year.

b. In the event July 1 falls on either a Saturday or Sunday, applications for the homestead tax credit may be filed the following Monday.

c. In the event July 1 falls on either a Saturday or Sunday, applications submitted by mail shall be accepted if postmarked on the following Monday.

d. An assessor may not refuse to accept an application for homestead tax credit. If it is the opinion of the assessor that a homestead tax credit should not be allowed, the assessor shall accept the application for credit and recommend disallowance.

e. If the owner of the homestead is on active duty in the armed forces of this state or of the United States, or is 65 years of age or older or is disabled, the application for homestead tax credit may be signed and delivered by a member of the owner's family or the owner's guardian, conservator or designated attorney-in-fact. For purposes of this rule, any person related to the owner by blood, marriage or adoption shall be considered a member of the owner's family.

f. If a person makes a false application for credit with fraudulent intent to obtain the credit, the person is guilty of a fraudulent practice and the claim shall be disallowed. If the credit has been paid, the amount of the credit plus a penalty equal to 25 percent of the amount of the disallowed credit and interest shall be collected by the county treasurer.

g. For purposes of the homestead tax credit statute, the occupancy of the homestead may constitute actual occupancy or constructive occupancy. However, more than one homestead cannot be simultaneously occupied by the claimant and multiple simultaneous homestead tax credits are not allowable. Generally, a homestead is occupied by the claimant if the premises constitute the claimant's usual place of abode. Once the claimant's occupancy of the homestead is established, such occupancy is not lost merely because the claimant, for some valid reason, is temporarily absent from the homestead premises with an intention of returning thereto.

(2) Eligibility for credit.

a. If homestead property is owned jointly by persons who are not related or formerly related by blood, marriage or adoption, no homestead tax credit shall be allowed unless all the owners actually occupy the homestead property on July 1 of each year.

b. No homestead tax credit shall be allowed if the homestead property is owned or listed and assessed to a corporation, partnership, company or any other business or nonbusiness organization. However, a family farm corporation, as defined in Iowa Code section 9H.1, where a shareholder of the family farm corporation occupies a homestead, as defined in Iowa Code section 425.11(1), may receive the homestead tax credit.

c. A person acquiring homestead property under a contract of purchase remains eligible for a homestead tax credit even though such person has assigned equity in the homestead property as security for a loan.

d. A person occupying homestead property pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 499A or 499B is eligible for a homestead tax credit.

e. A person who has a life estate interest in homestead property shall be eligible for a homestead tax credit, provided the remainderman is related or formerly related to the life estate holder by blood, marriage or adoption or the reversionary interest is held by a nonprofit corporation organized under Iowa Code chapter 504.

f. A homestead tax credit may not be allowed upon a mobile home which is not assessed as real estate.

g. A person occupying homestead property under a trust agreement is considered the owner of the property for purposes of the homestead tax credit.

h. A remainder is not eligible to receive a homestead tax credit until expiration of the life estate to which such person has the remainder interest.

i. In order for a person occupying homestead property under a contract of purchase to be eligible for a homestead tax credit, the contract of purchase must be recorded in the office of the county recorder where the property is located. A recorded memorandum or summary of the actual contract of purchase is not sufficient evidence of ownership to qualify a person for a homestead tax credit.

j. An owner of homestead property who is in the military service or confined in a nursing home, extended-care facility or hospital shall be considered as occupying the property during the period of service or confinement. The fact that the owner rents the property during the period of military service is immaterial to the granting of the homestead tax credit. However, no homestead tax credit shall be allowed if the owner received a profit for the use of the property from another person while such owner is confined in a nursing home, extended-care facility or hospital.

k. A person owning a homestead dwelling located upon land owned by another person or entity is not eligible for a homestead tax credit. This rule is not applicable to a person owning a homestead dwelling pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 499B or a person owning a homestead dwelling on land owned by a community land trust pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 12773, provided that such a person is liable for and pays property tax on the homestead as required under Iowa Code section 425.11(1)"e."

I. An heir occupying homestead property that is part of an estate in the process of administration is considered an owner of the property and is eligible for the homestead credit.

(3) Disabled veteran tax credit.

a. Qualification for credit. The disabled veteran tax credit may be claimed by any of the following owners of homestead property:

(1) A veteran who acquired homestead property under 38 U.S.C. Sections 21.801 and 21.802 or Sections 2101 and 2102.

(2) A veteran, as defined in Iowa Code section 35.1, with a permanent service-connected disability rating of 100 percent, as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability that is compensated at the 100 percent disability rate, as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

(3) A former member of the national guard of any state who otherwise meets the service requirements of Iowa Code section 3 5.1 (2)"b"(2) or 3 5.1 (2)"b"(7), with a permanent service-connected disability rating of 100 percent, as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability that is compensated at the 100 percent disability rate, as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

(4) An individual who is a surviving spouse or a child and who is receiving dependency and indemnity compensation pursuant to 38 U.S.C. Section 1301 et seq., as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

b. Under honorable conditions. A veteran, as defined in Iowa Code section 35.1, may qualify for the disabled veteran tax credit. In addition to the other requirements under Iowa Code section 35.1, to qualify as a veteran under Iowa Code section 35.1, an individual must have been discharged under honorable conditions from the armed forces of the United States, the reserve forces of the United States, the Iowa national guard, or the merchant marines. For purposes of benefits granted under Iowa Code section 425.15 and this rule, "under honorable conditions" means that the character of an enlisted member's discharge from the armed forces of the United States, the reserve forces of the United States, the Iowa national guard, or the merchant marines was "honorable" or "general (under honorable conditions)." "Under honorable conditions" does not include any other character of discharge, including but not limited to:

(1) Under other than honorable conditions;

(2) Dishonorable;

(3) Bad conduct;

(4) Uncharacterized; or

(5) A similar expression indicating that the discharge or release was not under honorable circumstances.

c. Application for credit. A valid application for the disabled veteran tax credit is subject to all of the following requirements:

(1) An application for the disabled veteran tax credit must be filed with the local assessor on or before July 1 of the assessment year. Any supporting documentation required by the assessor as evidence of a veteran's service-connected disability status or rating must be current within the previous 12 months of the date on which the application is filed.

(2) For persons applying for the disabled veteran tax credit under Iowa Code section 425.15(1)"a," "b," and "c," a DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), or an equivalent document indicating the veteran's type of separation and character of service, is required with an application for the credit to verify that the applicant meets the requirements of Iowa Code sections 425.15 and 35.1.

(3) For persons applying for the disabled veteran tax credit under Iowa Code section 425.15(1)"b" and"c," a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Benefit Summary Letter (also known as a Veterans Affairs award letter) stating the veteran's qualifying service-connected disability rating(s) is required with an application for the disabled veteran tax credit as certification of the veteran's service-connected disability by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Where a veteran seeks eligibility as a result of a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability, the Benefit Summary Letter must also indicate that the veteran is entitled to individual unemployability that is compensated at the 100 percent disability rate.

d. Multiple discharges. A person who has received a nonqualifying character of discharge may still qualify for the disabled veteran tax credit if it is established through the required documents under paragraph 80.1(3)"c" that the person has a service-connected disability that is related to the person's service in the armed forces of the United States for which the person was discharged under honorable conditions, and the other requirements of Iowa Code section 425.15 and this rule are also met. In such a case, in addition to a DD-214, the applicant must include a DD-256 (Certificate of Honorable Discharge), a DD-257 (General Discharge Certificate), or an equivalent document from the relevant time of service with the application for the disabled veteran tax credit. The applicant's Benefit Summary Letter must also indicate the applicant's periods of service and each character of discharge.

e. Amount of credit. The amount of the credit is equal to the entire amount of tax payable on the homestead.

f. Continuance of credit. The credit shall continue to the estate or surviving spouse and child who are the beneficiaries of an owner described in subparagraph 80.1(3)"a"(1), (2), or (3) if the surviving spouse remains unmarried. If an owner or beneficiary of an owner ceases to qualify for the credit, the owner or beneficiary must notify the assessor of the termination of eligibility.

(4) Application of credit.

a. Except as provided in paragraph 80.1(1)"a," if the homestead property is conveyed to another person prior to July 1 of any year, the new owner must file a claim for credit on or before July 1 to obtain the credit for that year. If the property is conveyed on or after July 1, the credit shall remain with the property for that year provided the previous owner was entitled to the credit. However, when the property is transferred as part of a distribution made pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 598 (Dissolution of Marriage) the transferee spouse retaining ownership and occupancy of the homestead is not required to refile for the credit.

b. A homestead tax credit may be allowed even though the property taxes levied against the homestead property have been suspended by the board of supervisors.

c. A homestead tax credit shall not be allowed if the property taxes levied against the homestead property have been canceled or remitted by the board of supervisors.

d. Only one homestead tax credit can be allowed per legally described tract of land. For purposes of this rule, a legally described tract of land shall mean all land contained in a single legal description.

e. If the owner of homestead property is also eligible for a military service tax exemption and claims the exemption on the homestead property, the military service tax exemption shall be applied prior to the homestead tax credit when computing net property tax.

f. If the homestead property contains two dwelling houses and one of the dwelling houses and a portion of the land is sold after a valid application for homestead tax credit has been filed, the assessor shall prorate the assessment so as to allow the seller a homestead tax credit on that portion of the property which is retained and also allow the purchaser a homestead tax credit on that portion of the property which is purchased, provided the purchaser files a valid application for homestead tax credit by July 1 of the claim year.

g. A homestead tax credit shall be allowed against the assessed value of the land on which a dwelling house did not exist as of January 1 of the year in which the credit is claimed provided a dwelling house is owned and occupied by the claimant on July 1 of that year.

h. The county treasurer shall, pursuant to Iowa Code section 25B.7, be required to extend to the claimant only that portion of the credit estimated by the department to be funded by the state appropriation.

This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code chapter 425.

(Amended by IAB April 27, 2016/Volume XXXVIII, Number 22, effective 6/1/2016 Amended by IAB December 2, 2020/Volume XLIII, Number 12, effective 1/6/2021)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.