The Wisconsin Homestead Credit Explained

The Homestead Credit is a tax break designed to help low to middle income Wisconsinites off set the effect of rent and property taxes. You can collect this credit even if you do not file your taxes.

Who is 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 dwelling that is subject to Wisconsin property taxes during 2021; and
  • You were a legal resident of Wisconsin for all of 2021; and
  • You were 18 years of age or older on December 31, 2021; and
  • Your household income was less than $24,680 for 2021; and
  • You meet one of the following conditions:
    • You (or your spouse, if married) had earned income during the year;
    • You (or your spouse, if married) are disabled;
    • You (or your spouse, if married) are 62 years of age or older at the end of 2021

Who is not eligible?

  • Those who are claimed as a dependent for the year on someone else’s federal income tax
  • Those living in tax exempt properties
  • Those living in a nursing home and receiving Title XIX medical assistance.
  • Those filing on behalf of a deceased person.

What counts as household income?

Household income includes all income taxable income plus certain nontaxable income, and a deduction of $500 for dependents who lived with the claimant for at least six months of the year. If you were married and lived with your spouse during all of 2021, 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. If a household income is $24,680 or more no credit is available.

How much can individuals and families get back from the Homestead Credit?

The amount of 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.

If you receive any of the following benefits: Wisconsin Works (W-2), county relief, and Kinship Car, it can affect your homestead credit.

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