Types of Property Ownership

Age 62 or Older

If the Homeowner shares ownership of the housesite with his or her descendant(s), even if the other owners (descendants) are not members of the household, enter 100.00% ownership interest. A letter of explanation may be requested.


Divorced or Legally Separated Joint Owners

If you are:

  • divorced or legally separated from your spouse/civil union partner, and
  • the name of the spouse/civil union partner from whom you are divorced or legally separated remains on the deed, and
  • you are awarded possession of the home; you claim as ownership percentage the property taxes for which you are responsible under the final divorce decree or court order.

If the divorce decree or court order does not specify responsibility for the property taxes, the person residing in the homestead uses 50% ownership interest. The person not living in the homestead cannot make a Property Tax Adjustment Claim. The Department may ask for a copy of the portions of the court documents showing the court, date filed, signature page, and the homestead related provisions.


Duplex Housing

If both owners occupy the building as their principal residence, the eligible housesite education property tax is the tax on the portion owned by each homeowner. If the town issues a property tax bill to each homeowner for his or her portion of the homestead, use the housesite value, housesite property tax and 100% ownership interest. If the property tax bill is for the total property, prorate the housesite value and housesite property tax.

If both owners do not occupy the duplex as their principal residence, the owner occupying the duplex as his or her principal residence must prorate for the other owner's interest.


Entity Ownership
 

When an entity such as a C or S corporation, partnership or limited liability company owns the property, the property cannot be claimed as an individual's homestead. There is an exception for entity ownership of a farm. See Regulation 1.5401.


Life Estate
 

A person who holds a life estate interest in a property that he or she occupies as a principal home must declare the property as a homestead. Check Box A8 of Form HS-122. A life estate is an interest in the property conveyed through a deed and recorded in the town records. The deed does not have to be attached to Form HS-122 but must be available for review upon Department request.


Shared Ownership of the Housesite
 

When a housesite is owned by someone other than the Homeowner and member(s) of the household, the eligible property tax or housesite value is the percentage owned by the household members.

Examples:

James, Grace and Lucinda jointly own a home and all live in the home. Lucinda is the Homeowner. She declares the property as her homestead. She enters the amount found on the property tax bill for the housesite value, the housesite property taxes and enters 100% ownership interest on as all owners live in the home;

Tim and Dan own a home. Tim lives in the home. Dan does not. Tim is the Homeowner. He declares the property as his homestead. He enters the amount found on the property tax bill for the housesite value, the housesite property tax and enters 50% ownership interest to adjust for ownership interest of Dan who does not live in the household.


Trust Ownership

A dwelling owned by a trust is not the homestead of the beneficiary unless the claimant is the sole beneficiary of the trust and:

  1. The claimant or the claimant's spouse was the grantor of the trust, and the trust is revocable or became irrevocable solely by reason of the grantor's death; or
  2. The claimant is the parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling of the grantor, the claimant is mentally disabled or severely physically disabled, and the grantor's modified adjusted gross income is included in the household income calculation.

The term sole beneficiary is satisfied if the homeowner and the spouse/civil union partner are the only beneficiaries of the trust. A property owned by an irrevocable trust cannot be a homestead except as stated above. The trust document does not have to be attached to the Property Tax Adjustment Claim but must be available for review upon Department request.

Contact Us

Commissioner Kaj Samsom
133 State Street | Montpelier, VT 05633
(802) 828-2505

Taxpayer Assistance Window
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

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