Electronic Filing of Individual Income Tax Returns With Homestead Credit Claims

Several options to file homestead credit claims electronically are available:

For all electronically filed homestead credit claims, Form W-RA, Required Attachments for Electronic Filing, along with the required attachment(s), must be submitted (either electronically or by mail) to the department within 48 hours of receiving your Wisconsin acknowledgment.

General Instructions

See Online Services for the e-filing options available for individuals. If using tax-preparation software, prepare the federal and Wisconsin income tax returns, or Schedule H by itself, if no filing requirement exists and software allows it. If using WI e-file, with a Wisconsin income tax filing requirement, prepare the Wisconsin income tax return. Then take these additional steps to electronically file a homestead credit claim.

Prepare the Schedule H-EZ or Schedule H as your software allows

Schedule H-EZ:

Schedule H:

Both Schedule H-EZ and Schedule H:

Note: To file a homestead credit claim electronically, you must also submit the required property tax bill information and/or rent certificate information to the department.

Property Tax Bill Information

If the claimant owned his or her home during 2013, then the claimant will have allowable property taxes for homestead credit purposes. You must enter all of the following information from the 2013 property tax bill that includes the assessed value of the home:

  1. Year on property tax bill (must be 2013).
  2. Name of owner(s) as shown on property tax bill (for example, John and Mary Smith, John Smith et al.). See Common Abbreviations/Acronyms for Property Tax Bills.
  3. Type of owner. You will need to check one of the following to indicate the legal ownership type:
    • Self and/or spouse (this includes life estate).
    • Self and/or spouse and others. If the claimant owns his or her home with someone other than his or her spouse, you will need to enter:
      • The claimant's ownership percentage during 2013,
      • The amount of 2013 property taxes the claimant paid or will pay, and
      • Whether ALL of the other owners occupied the home during 2013.
    • Trust.
    • Estate.
    • Partnership.
    • Corporation, S corporation, or limited liability company.
    • Other.
  4. Address of property.
  5. Assessed value of land.
  6. Assessed value of improvements.
  7. Number of acres of land.
  8. Property taxes, excluding special assessments/charges and before first dollar credit and lottery/gaming credit.
  9. Sum of first dollar credit and lottery/gaming credit.
  10. Net property taxes after sum of first dollar credit and lottery/gaming credit.

Note: When entering the property taxes under #8 and #10, enter the property taxes as they appear on the property tax bill. Any reductions necessary for acreage, nonhomestead use of the home, or receipt of Wisconsin Works (W2) payments are done on Schedules 1, 2, and/or 3 of the Schedule H or on the Taxes/Rent Reduction Schedule of the Schedule H-EZ. The claimant's ownership share of taxes is accounted for when entering the property tax amount on Schedule H, line 13, or on Schedule H-EZ, line 8.

Personal Property Tax Bill

If the claimant owned a mobile or manufactured home and received a personal property tax bill, enter the information from the 2013 personal property tax bill. Since a personal property tax bill does not have an assessed value of land, Homestead Notes and Attachments #14 must be checked to indicate that the Property Tax Bill Information is from a personal property tax bill for a mobile or manufactured home.

Owned Home With Others

If the claimant owned his or her home with others in 2013, the claimant may use only that portion of the net property taxes that reflects the claimant's percentage of ownership, unless one of the following applies:

Purchased Home During 2013

If the claimant purchased his or her home during 2013, enter the information from the 2013 property tax bill for the property purchased. Also, enter the dates that the claimant physically occupied the purchased home during 2013.

Note: When calculating allowable taxes for homestead credit purposes, the claimant is only allowed the 2013 taxes for the time he or she owned and occupied the home.

Sold Home During 2013

If the claimant sold his or her home during 2013, enter the dates that the claimant physically occupied the sold home during 2013. Also enter the following information from the seller's closing statement:

  1. Date the home was sold.
  2. Name of seller(s) shown on closing statement.
  3. Type of owner. You will need to check one of the following to indicate the claimant's ownership type:
    • Self and/or spouse (this includes life estate).
    • Self and/or spouse and others. If this box is checked, you will need to enter:
      • The claimant's ownership percentage, and
      • Whether all of the other owners occupied the home during 2013 before it was sold.
    • Other
  4. Address of the home that was sold.
  5. Property taxes allocated to the seller(s) on the closing statement.

Note: When calculating allowable taxes for homestead credit purposes, the claimant is only allowed the taxes for the time he or she owned and occupied the home. Since the seller generally will not have the actual 2013 property tax bill, use the property taxes allocated on the seller's closing statement to determine the allowable taxes.

If the claimant sold his or her home, you must also enter the following information:

  1. Selling price of home - do not include personal property items sold with the home.
  2. Expenses of sale (commissions, advertising, attorney fees, etc.).
  3. Adjusted basis of home sold (purchase price of home, improvements, etc.).

Note: You must include any gain on the sale of the claimant's home in household income on Schedule H, page 2, line 11c. You cannot file on Schedule H-EZ. You must file on Schedule H.

Adjoining Property Information

If the claimant has additional property tax bills for property that adjoins the claimant's home property and the name and type of owner(s) is the same as that on the main tax bill, enter the following information from each of the adjoining property tax bill(s):

  1. Number of acres of land.
  2. Assessed value of land.
  3. Assessed value of improvements.
  4. Property taxes (without special assessments and/or charges and after first dollar credit).

You may enter up to five adjoining property tax bills. Since the allowable taxes for homestead credit are limited to $1,460, you only need to enter the data from the tax bills that will add up to $1,460 of allowable taxes.

Note: (1) If the home is located on more than one acre of land and is not part of a farm, you must check the first box above line 13 on Schedule H, page 2, and complete Schedule 1 on Schedule H, page 3. The allowable taxes are limited to the taxes on one acre of land and all improvements on that land. (2) If the home is part of a farm, you must check the second box above line 13 on Schedule H, page 2. The allowable taxes are limited to the taxes on 120 acres of land and all improvements on that land. You cannot file on Schedule H-EZ.

Rent Certificate Information

If the claimant resided in a rented dwelling during 2013, the claimant must have a completed rent certificate for each dwelling in which he or she resided. The claimant should complete the Renter's or Claimant's portion.  The claimant's landlord or authorized representative's should complete the Landlord's or Authorized Representative's portion and sign the rent certificate.

Enter all of the information from the Renter's portion and the Landlord or Authorized Representative's portion of the rent certificate(s) exactly as it appears on the completed certificate, as your software allows.

Altered rent certificates (whiteouts, erasures, etc.) are void. The claimant should get another "clean" rent certificate from the landlord. If this is not done, check the box: Rent Certificate Altered.

If the landlord will not sign the rent certificate, the claimant should complete the fields above line 1 (including placing a checkmark in the designated area) and lines 1 to 5.  You must attach documents to the Form W-RA, Required Attachments for Electronic Filing to prove the rent was paid. Acceptable verification may be copies of canceled checks or bank money orders. Only rent that is properly verified can be allowed.

In addition, homestead note #18 should be checked.

Renters' Shared Living Expenses

If line 3d of the rent certificate is 2 or more and each occupant did not pay an equal share of the rent, the claimant must complete the Shared Living Expenses Schedule portion of the rent certificate. Make sure amounts for what each occupant paid for rent, food, utilities, and other expenses are completed.

The claimant must also list the other occupants' complete name(s) in the space provided on the schedule.

You must complete Step 3 of the schedule to compute the allowable rent.

Enter the data exactly as shown on the Shared Living Expenses Schedule.

Homestead Notes and Attachments

Refer to the list of all the instances when a claimant must provide either a note or a copy of a document when filing a homestead credit claim. Your software should allow you to check all instances that apply to the claim.

Wisconsin Form W-RA, Required Attachments for Electronic Filing

Within 48 hours of receiving the Wisconsin acknowledgement, you must submit to the department:

  1. The Form W-RA and
  2. All attachments (Forms W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, and 1098-T, original rent certificate(s), property tax bill(s), legal documents, and other required statements).

There are several ways to submit your Form W-RA with the required attachments to the department. You may 1) electronically transmit, 2) electronically attach (when using WI e-file or a tax-preparation software that provides the option to electronically attach documents), or mail.

When using the United States Postal Service:

Wisconsin Department of Revenue
PO Box 8977
Madison WI 53708-8977

When using a private mail service provider:

Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Mail Opening - Mail Stop 1-151
2135 Rimrock Road
Madison WI 53713

Paper Schedule H-EZ or Schedule H Required

You must file a paper Schedule H-EZ or Schedule H if:

Refund Delays

Refunds may be delayed for one of the following reasons:

Refer to Wisconsin Publication 127, Wisconsin Homestead Credit Situations and Solutions, to avoid common adjustments to and letters concerning homestead credit claims.

Refer to "Electronically Filed Homestead Credit Information" in Wisconsin Tax Bulletin 153, page 11 to find tips and hints on how to avoid the most common errors that occurred from filing homestead credit claims electronically.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

Homestead Credit Only
Mail Stop 5-77
PO Box 8949
Madison WI 53708-8949
Phone: (608) 266-8641
Fax: (608) 267-1030
Email: DORHomesteadCredit@revenue.wi.gov
All Other Electronic Filing Questions
Electronic Filing Unit
Mail Stop 5-77
PO Box 8949
Madison WI 53708-8949
Phone: (608) 264-6886
Fax: (608) 267-1030
Email: DORElectronicFiling@revenue.wi.gov

 

December 17, 2013