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

Feb 21, 2019, 09:41 AM by Justina M. Tushak, CPA, EA
Answer from the free Ask a CPA service on whether one must wait for approval after applying for a homestead exemption to file his or her tax returns.

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.

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

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