If I recently applied for a homestead exemption, must I wait to get approval before I file my tax returns this year?

If I recently applied for a homestead exemption, must I wait to get approval before I file my tax returns this year?

by Justina M. Tushak, CPA, EA | Feb 21, 2019

I recently applied for the 2019 homestead exemption this year. Do I need to wait to get an approval notice on my homestead exemption from the county before I am eligible to file my 2018 tax returns?

The homestead exemption is related to the property taxes for a residence. Once the homestead exemption is granted for the residence the owner does not need to apply for the exemption again. The homestead exemption reduces the property taxes on the property each year. The homestead exemption does not impact the filing of 2018 tax returns. The property taxes claimed on the 2018 tax return will be the amount paid in 2018 for the property taxes on the residence if it is the primary residence, is considered a second home, or is a rental property. If you are eligible for the Pennsylvania property tax rebate, you will report the actual amount of property taxes paid in 2018 on your primary residence as the eligible property taxes for the rebate. You do not need the approval notice on the homestead exemption to file your 2018 tax returns.

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Answered by: Justina M. Tushak, CPA, EA, is a sole practitioner in Erie, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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