E-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:

  • Enter the answers to Questions 1 through 6.

  • Enter all of the claimant's household income, both taxable and nontaxable.

  • Check the A, B, C, and/or D lines above line 13 that apply to the claimant's situation.

    • Line A - Check this line if the claimant's home is located on more than one acre of land and was not part of a farm.

    • Line B - Check this line if the claimant's home was located on more than one acre of land and was part of a farm.

    • Line C - Check this line if the claimant's home was used for purposes other than personal or farm use while the claimant lived there in 2017.

    • Line D - Check this line if the claimant received Wisconsin Works (W2) payments or county relief during 2017.

  • If necessary, complete the following schedules:

  • Schedule 1 - Allowable Taxes - Home on More Than One Acre of Land

  • Schedule 2 - Allowable Taxes/Rent - Home Used Partly for Purposes Other Than Farm or Personal Use

  • Schedule 3 - Taxes/Rent Reduction - Wisconsin Works (W2) or County Relief Recipients

Both Schedule H-EZ and Schedule H:

  • Enter the claimant's allowable taxes and/or allowable rent (heat included and/or heat not included).

  • Compute the homestead credit using homestead Tables A and B (if your software doesn't compute this for you).

  • Enter the allowable credit from Schedule H-EZ, line 14, or Schedule H, line 19, on Form 1, line 45, or Form 1A, line 31.

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 2017, then the claimant will have allowable property taxes for homestead credit purposes. You must enter all of the following information from the 2017 property tax bill that includes the assessed value of the home:

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 2017 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 2017, 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:

  • If the other owner was the claimant's spouse who lived with the claimant during all of 2017, use all of the net property taxes.

  • If the other owner(s) did not live in the home and the claimant paid or will pay all of the property taxes, use the portion of taxes reflecting the claimant's ownership percentage on Schedule H, line 13, or on Schedule H-EZ, line 8 (as taxes), and use the other owner's share of the taxes on Schedule H, line 14c, or on Schedule H-EZ, line 9c (as rent - heat not included).

Purchased Home During 2017

If the claimant purchased his or her home during 2017, enter the information from the 2017 property tax bill for the property purchased. Also, enter the dates that the claimant physically occupied the purchased home during 2017.

Note: When calculating allowable taxes for homestead credit purposes, the claimant is only allowed the 2017 taxes for the time he or she owned and occupied the home.

Sold Home During 2017

If the claimant sold his or her home during 2017, enter the dates that the claimant physically occupied the sold home during 2017. 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 2017 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 2017 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: Schedule GL, Gain or Loss on the Sale of Your Home, should be included with Form W-RA if you are using software that does not submit the Schedule GL as part of the electronic return. 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 2017, 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 8b. 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 5 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:

There are several ways to submit your Form W-RA with the required attachments to the department. You may 1)  electronically transmit with My Tax Account, 2) electronically attach (when using WI e-file or a tax-preparation software that provides the option to electronically attach documents), or 3) 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:

MS 1-151
Wisconsin Department of Revenue
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:

  • The name of the owner(s) and type of ownership on the property tax bill(s) for the adjoining property is not the same as the name of the owner(s) and type of ownership on the property tax bill that includes the assessed value of the main home.

  • The claimant has more than 6 property tax bills. For electronic filing, only 1 tax bill is allowed for the claimant's home and 5 tax bills are allowed for adjoining property.

  • The claimant owned and resided in more than one home during the year and the claimant did not sell one of the homes during the year.

  • The claimant has more than 4 rent certificates.

Refund Delays

Refunds may be delayed for one of the following reasons:

  • If your return is selected for review. In this case --
    • Possibility of a letter

    • Possibility of an adjustment notice

  • If the Form W-RA with all required attachments is not received by the department.

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:

Homestead Credit Only
MS 5-77
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
PO Box 8949
Madison WI 53708-8949
Phone: (608) 266-8641
Fax: (608) 267-1030
Email: DORHomesteadCredit@wisconsin.gov

All Other Electronic Filing Questions
MS 5-77
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Electronic Filing Unit
PO Box 8949
Madison WI 53708-8949
Phone: (608) 266-2772
Fax: (608) 267-1030
Email: DORElectronicFiling@wisconsin.gov

December 15, 2017