Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit

Maryland Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit can significantly reduce a homeowner’s property taxes, but this program is very under-utilized. There are a few reasons why. First, individuals don’t know the Credit is available, or they might be confused thinking that they’ve applied for this credit, when in reality, they filed for a different credit, called the Homestead Tax Credit. Second, they may have filed for it in the past, but aren’t aware that this Credit requires an annual application. The deadline to receive the credit is October 1st of each year, but an application can be submitted anytime between April 1st and October 1st each year. The application can be submitted online or through a paper application.  And third, a homeowner may not be eligible for the Credit because while they reside in their home, they may not be the legal owner, meaning their name isn’t on the deed to the property. In order to receive the Credit, they first need to resolve the deed issue.

MVLS’ factsheet on the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit walks an individual through the eligibility and the application process with step-by-step instructions including how to calculate income and what documentation is required with the application. The Credit is income based and income thresholds are available on the State Department of Assessment and Taxation’s (SDAT) website.

This Credit can be essential to helping an individual avoid tax sale, foreclosure and increasing financial stabilization.  It’s important to spread the word about this potentially available Credit. Once a homeowner receives the Credit, they should be reminded every year by SDAT to reply, however, it’s a good practice for the individual to set a reminder as well, since the Credit expires every year and must be granted for the next tax year.

If you a volunteer working with a MVLS client, particularly with housing issues, please make sure the client is filing for this Credit. You can determine if they are receiving the Credit by visiting the Real Property Search on SDAT’s website and scrolling to the bottom of their property record. It will indicate there if they are receiving the Homeowners’ and Homestead Credits. Note that many individuals struggle with the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit application and your assistance, while requiring very little time, can be a major barrier removal for them to achieving housing stability.

The MVLS Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit factsheet is available here.