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 or Schedule H-EZ as your software allows

Schedule H:

Schedule H-EZ:

Both Schedule H and Schedule H-EZ:

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 2019, then the claimant will have allowable property taxes for homestead credit purposes. You must enter all of the following information from the 2019 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, non-homestead 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 2019 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 2019, 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 2019

If the claimant purchased his or her home during 2019, enter the information from the 2019 property tax bill for the property purchased. Also, enter the dates that the claimant physically occupied the purchased home during 2019.

Note: When calculating allowable taxes for homestead credit purposes, the claimant is only allowed the 2019 taxes for the time he or she owned and occupied the home.

Sold Home During 2019

If the claimant sold his or her home during 2019, enter the dates that the claimant physically occupied the sold home during 2019. Also enter the following information from the seller's 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 2019 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:

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):

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 2019, 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 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 Notes and Attachments #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 homestead credit instructions for 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 or Schedule H-EZ Required

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

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.

Applicable Laws and Rules

This document provides statements or interpretations of the following laws and regulations enacted as of October 22, 2019: Sections 71.53, 71.54 and 71.55, Wis. Stats., and secs. Tax 14.01, 14.02, 14.03, 14.04​​ and 14.05, Wis. Adm. Code.

Laws enacted and in effect after October 22, 2019, new administrative rules, and court decisions may change the interpretations in this document. Guidance issued prior to October 22, 2019, that is contrary to the information in this document is superseded by this document, pursuant to sec. 73.16(2)(a), Wis. Stats.

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

Guidance Document Certification: https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/Certification-Statement.aspx

Guidance Document Number: 100239

October 22, 2019