Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Double Dipping Is Not Just Poor Manners

If you double dip your nacho chip at a party, that's a breach of etiquette. If you double dip on your Principal Residence Exemption, well, that's a breach of law. Over the last three years, more than 33,000 Michigan homeowners have been caught double dipping (Ms. Manners is aghast). State officials estimate that cheaters cost Michigan a tax shortfall of about $20 million per year. To qualify for the Michigan Principal Residence Exemption, a homeowner must:

Be a Michigan resident.

Own the home and live in it as a principal residence.

File an affidavit with the local assessor by May 1 of the tax year.

Not rent the property.

Not claim any other property as exempt.

Promise never to dunk their carrot stick back into the vegetable dip after taking a bite (OK, I made this one up. Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention).

In addition, a married couple must file separate income taxes and actually live apart most of the time in order for each to claim a homestead exemption.

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