Updated for the 2019 tax year
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The Homestead Credit is a state of Wisconsin tax benefit for renters and homeowners with low or moderate incomes. It is designed to lessen the impact of rent and property taxes. Eligible people who do not file Wisconsin state income taxes may still claim the Homestead Credit
Am I eligible for the Wisconsin Homestead Credit?
You may be able to claim the homestead credit if:
- You occupied and owned or rented a home, apartment, or other dwelling that is subject to Wisconsin property taxes during 2019; and
- You were a legal resident of Wisconsin for all of 2019; and
- You were 18 years of age or older on December 31, 2019; and
- Your household income was less than $24,680 for 2019; and
- You meet one of the following conditions:
- You (or your spouse, if married) had earned income during 2019; or
- You (or your spouse, if married) are disabled; or
- You (or your spouse, if married) are 62 years of age or older at the end of 2019.
What counts as household income?
Household income includes all income reportable for tax purposes, plus certain nontaxable income, less a deduction of $500 for dependents who lived with the claimant for at least six months of 2019. If you were married and lived with your spouse during all of 2019, you must combine your income and that of your spouse to determine your total household income. Examples of nontaxable income that are included for this purpose include: Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, child support, IRA contributions, and nontaxable scholarships.
How much can individuals and families get back from the Homestead Credit?
The amount of the credit depends on income and on the amount of rent or property taxes. The maximum Homestead Credit is $1,168.
Does the Homestead Credit affect eligibility for welfare benefits? Do welfare benefits affect eligibility for the Homestead Credit?
The Homestead Credit does not count as income in determining eligibility for benefits such as W-2, Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI, or public or subsidized housing.
Some welfare benefits can reduce the Homestead Credit. The benefits that affect the Homestead Credit include Wisconsin Works (W-2), county relief, and Kinship Care.
Detailed information for calculating the amount of the credit is provided in the instructions to the tax forms. You can find information about the forms you will need to claim these credits on the How to Claim Tax Credits page.