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Wisconsin Program Eligibility

Property Tax-Aide features four property tax relief programs in Wisconsin, one of which is for senior homeowners. They are the Homestead Credit, School Property Tax Credit for Renters and Homeowners, Property Tax Deferral Loan Program (for seniors), and the Lottery and Gaming Credit.

The information on this page is updated as new information becomes available by the relevant tax agencies.

Homestead Credit

The Homestead Tax Credit directs property tax relief to low-income homeowners and renters. Relief is provided as a refundable credit which reduces individual income tax liability or provides a cash refund if the credit exceeds the liability.

The amount of the credit received by claimants depends on the interaction of household income and allowable property taxes or rent. The homestead credit formula includes the income threshold, the maximum income level and the maximum property taxes or rent constituting property taxes.

For renters, property taxes are considered 20% of rent if heat is included and 25% if heat is not included

Application Deadline

  • The Homestead Credit is filed as part of the Wisconsin Income Tax return. The 2023 income tax return is due April 15, 2024. The return can be filed electronically.
  • For most claimants, the deadline for filing a Homestead Credit Claim (Schedule H or H-EZ) is April 17, 2028. If you are a taxpayer with a fiscal taxable year (one ending on a date other than December 31), your deadline for filing Schedule H or H-EZ is 4 years, 3 1/2 months after the end of the fiscal taxable year to which the claim relates.
  • Qualified applicants can file for years prior to 2023, going back to 2020. For example, for claim year 2020, applicants have until April 15, 2025 to file a Homestead Credit application.
  • The deadlines for 2019 and prior year homestead credit claims are past and claims for those years can no longer be filed.

School Property Tax Credit for Renters and Homeowners

The benefit for this non-refundable income tax credit is 12% of the first $2,500 of property taxes or rent paid. For singles and married people filing jointly the maximum credit is $300. For heads of households and married persons filing separately, the maximum credit is $150.

For renters, property taxes are considered 20% of rent if heat is included and 25% if heat is not included.

Application Deadline

April 15, 2024

Property Tax Deferral Loan Program

The Wisconsin property tax deferral loan program, administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), allows low-income elderly homeowners and veterans to convert home equity into cash to pay property taxes.

Loans may be used to pay all or a portion of current property taxes and special assessments due and may include any interest or penalties on delinquent property taxes. The maximum annual loan to an individual borrower is $3,525.

The principal and interest due for tax deferral loans do not have to be repaid until the ownership of the property transfers or the loan recipient no longer lives in the home. Upon transfer of ownership of the property, or when the participant ceases to live in the residence, the total loan, with interest, is repaid from the proceeds of the estate or sale of the property.

Application Deadline

Applications for property tax deferral loans must be filed with WHEDA by June 30 of the year in which the taxes are due. For example, applications filed by June 30, 2023, if approved, would receive loans for 2022 property taxes payable in 2023. Receipt of a property tax deferral loan does not affect an applicant’s eligibility for farmland preservation or homestead tax credits. WHEDA begins accepting applications approximately each December 1 for property taxes due beginning on the succeeding January 31.

Lottery and Gaming Credit

The program provides a direct property tax relief to qualifying taxpayers on their property tax bills. The lottery credit is displayed on the tax bills as a reduction of property taxes due.

The credit is funded by revenues from the state lottery. Based on available funds and an estimated number of properties qualifying for the credit, the state Department of Revenue determines a maximum credit value. The credit amount for each qualifying property is calculated by multiplying the maximum credit value (or the actual value of the property if that value is less) by the applicable school tax rate.

For homeowners, the credit is equal to the school tax rate multiplied by the annually determined credit base amount

Application Deadline

  • The claim for 2024 property tax, payable in 2025, is due January 31, 2024.
  • File a late claim application (if you missed the January 31 deadline) with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue by October 1, after your property tax bill is issued
  • Claim the credit by applying to the municipal treasurer where the property is located, by January 31, after you receive your property tax bill. The treasurer will calculate the credit amount you should receive and either credits your tax bill, or if you already paid the taxes, refunds the credit to you.

Property Tax-Aide has independently selected the property tax relief programs featured on this website that we think are the most relevant and beneficial to older adults. It is not an exhaustive list of all property tax relief programs available in each state. Please consult your local tax agency for a comprehensive listing of property tax relief programs in your area.

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