Indiana offers property owners a number of deductions that can help lower property tax bills.
Below are links to the application forms for some of the most common deductions.
(Please note: At the current time, we do not have an on-line application process. We encourage taxpayers to come in-person to our office to apply. Please bring proof of residency and any other documentation required for each deduction. Read below for more details).
- Homestead Deduction Form (PDF)
- Mortgage Deduction Form (PDF)
- Over-65 Deduction Form
- Blind/Disabled Deduction Form (PDF)
- Veteran Deductions Form (PDF)
- Heritage Barn Deduction Form (PDF)
For more details on the Over 65 and Veteran deductions, click on the tabs on this page.
How do tax deductions work?
Tax deductions subtract a certain amount from the property's assessed value to arrive at the net assessed value. For example, let's say you own a home assessed at $180,000 and you qualify for the homestead deduction. Your standard homestead deduction is $45,000, and your supplemental deduction is $47,250. Without any deduction, the tax rate would be applied to the AV of $180,000. But with the homestead deduction, the tax bill is calculated based on a net AV of $87,750.
Who is eligible for the Homestead Deduction?
Owner-occupied homes on up to one acre are eligible for the homestead deduction. Taxpayers generally may receive only one homestead deduction, which is applied to their primary residence. This deduction consists of the standard homestead deduction (which, in most cases, totals $45,000 or 60% of the homestead assessed value) and the supplemental homestead deduction (which in most cases is calculated at 35% of the value after applying the standard homestead deduction). The Porter County Auditor's Office has a homestead compliance program designed to detect ineligible homestead deductions. Taxpayers who receive homestead deductions for which they are not eligible may be issued a corrected tax bill for the current tax year and are subject to up to three years of back tax payments and penalties, under Indiana law.
What is the deadline to apply?
In general, taxpayers must fill out, sign, and date the application form by December 31 in order for the deduction to be applied to the following year's tax bill. The completed form must be filed with the County Auditor's office by January 5. When applying, taxpayers should be prepared to provide proof of eligibility.
Once you apply for certain deductions, you generally do not need to re-apply as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. (However, in the case of a refinancing, a new application for the mortgage deduction is required).
If you no longer qualify for a deduction, you must notify the Auditor's office within 60 days to get the deduction removed. In the case of the homestead deduction, a property owner who changes the use of the homestead property and who fails to file a certified statement with the county auditor is liable for the amount of the deduction received plus a civil penalty of 10% of the additional taxes due.
How do I apply?
As noted above, we recommend that taxpayers come in-person to our office to apply. Our staff will assist taxpayers to ensure their application forms are in proper order and that there is no missing or incorrect information that could result in a delay or rejection of the deduction. Our office will provide the application forms.
Taxpayers may also print out the application form (available on this page) and mail in their application. However, the application will not be processed if there is incomplete information or if the taxpayer does not provide proof of eligibility for each deduction. The type of verification depends on the deduction. For example, taxpayers applying for a homestead deduction may provide an updated government-issued ID with their current home address (most taxpayers provide an Indiana driver's license). For the Over-65 deduction, the taxpayer must provide a copy of their most recent tax return for us to review.
How many deductions are allowed?
Some deductions may be combined with others. Here is a general guide:
|Tax Benefit||May be combined with what other deduction?|
|Over 65 Deduction||Only the Homestead and Mortgage deductions and the Over 65 Credit|
|Over 65 Credit||Any|
|Blind or Disabled Deduction||Any except the Over 65 Deduction|
|Totally Disabled Veteran or Veteran At Least 62 with Disability of 10% or more||Any except the Over 65 Deduction|
|Veteran with Service Connected Disability||Any except the Over 65 Deduction|
Note: The information on this page is based on information available from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. This page provides only general guidance on Indiana's property tax benefits and should not be construed as legal advice or as a final determination of one's eligibility for a deduction. Additional requirements and restrictions may apply.