Vermont residents who own & occupy a VT dwelling as a principal residence must file a Declaration of Vermont Homestead, Form HS-122 every year by April 15. This requirement, which was repealed in 2011, has been reinstated for 2013 and beyond.

The Education Funding law, Act 68, passed in 2003 and revised by Act 185 in 2006 requires VT homeowners to file this declaration. Homes and commercial properties have different education property tax rates. Filing the declaration identifies your property as a homestead and designates the property to be taxed at the homestead rate, which in most towns is lower than the commercial rate.

Please note that this declaration is required even if you do not file a VT income tax return or do not participate in the property tax payment ("prebate") or rebate programs. If you are late, you must still file a declaration and you will have to pay a 3% or 8% penalty. If you file your declaration after Oct. 15, you will be taxed at the commercial rate for that year (or the residential rate if higher) and you will not be eligible to receive a property tax payment ("prebate") from the state for that year.

In order to receive a property tax adjustment credit you must file Form HS-122 (section B) each year by Oct 15. If you file this form after April 15, you will be charged a $15 late fee. Note that beginning in 2007, property tax payments are sent directly to your town to be used as a credit on your property tax bill. Checks are no longer sent to taxpayers except in rare circumstances.

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