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Old 05-26-2022, 10:34 AM
 
43 posts, read 64,227 times
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I live in Michigan since 2003, bought a house in Michigan in 2010 (a condo), and Michigan was always declared as my primary residence. Obviously, I also have – and always have had -- a Michigan id, and vote in Michigan. Few years ago, I bought a house in central Ohio. On occasion of buying the house in Ohio, I declared to the Franklin county and State of Ohio this as being my secondary residence.

For all practical effects and purposes I retired early, and don’t have to work for a living; so I don’t have lots of reasons to stay in a given place most of the time. The house that I bought in Ohio was a distressed house and thus needed lots of repairs, so there has been years whereas I spent most of the time in Ohio. Eventually, I sold that house and bought another one in Ohio (still declared that house as my secondary residence)

Also, I have family overseas and can easily spend 3 months per year oversees visiting them.

Typically, my mail goes to my place in Ohio mostly because the mailbox in my Michigan residence is too small and would easy fill up in two weeks. On the other hand, my mailbox in my secondary residence in Ohio is fairly large and would take 3 months to get full. Based on this fact, I elected to have most of my mail directed to my secondary address in Ohio. Anyhow, for most part I don’t really care about the whereabouts of my mail given that nowadays everything is checked and paid online – normally I don’t even open my statement letters given that by the time they arrive they are already outdated.

All the preamble above culminate with the question and problem I am facing now. I also happen to be a disable veteran, and this year I applied for a veteran tax exemption and used my Ohio address as a return address. This triggered an audit by the city assessor’s office in Lansing, MI. And they are asking for my id ad bills and/or statements from last year that have my Michigan address as the delivery address. So, I am a conundrum now given that I do not have enough relevant mails going to my Michigan address to fulfill this requirement, and this situation simply does seem fair.

Any insight, on how to approach this situation would be appreciated.
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Old 05-26-2022, 01:34 PM
 
7,084 posts, read 6,080,636 times
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Curiously enough, I just recently looked into the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit. I needed to perform research for a house that would be held in either an LLC or a trust. Our house in question would be used as a vacation home for the extended family.

You might want to look at this https://www.michigan.gov/taxes/quest...y-tax-credit-1

The first bullet point states that, among other things, one must have occupied the property for at least six months out of the year in order to qualify for the tax credit.

From the OP's description, it does not sound as if he/she spent the minimum required time at the Michigan condo.
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Old 05-26-2022, 09:02 PM
 
43 posts, read 64,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
Curiously enough, I just recently looked into the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit. I needed to perform research for a house that would be held in either an LLC or a trust. Our house in question would be used as a vacation home for the extended family.

You might want to look at this https://www.michigan.gov/taxes/quest...y-tax-credit-1

The first bullet point states that, among other things, one must have occupied the property for at least six months out of the year in order to qualify for the tax credit.

From the OP's description, it does not sound as if he/she spent the minimum required time at the Michigan condo.
Yeah, I am aware of that rule. It is a sort or rule that exists but most people do not follow. Once, few years ago, I was talking to someone who works at the assessor’s office and was told that typically people in Michigan who have two or more properties will declare as the primary residence the one that is more valuable in order to reduce their tax burden.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:33 PM
 
8,301 posts, read 11,008,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3000 View Post
Yeah, I am aware of that rule. It is a sort or rule that exists but most people do not follow. Once, few years ago, I was talking to someone who works at the assessor’s office and was told that typically people in Michigan who have two or more properties will declare as the primary residence the one that is more valuable in order to reduce their tax burden.

Thanks for the input!
Which sounds like what you are trying to do. The proper thing to do is to only declare as your principal residence the house which is actually your principal residence. If you're not living in Michigan most of the time, then it is not your principal residence. Didn't you feel odd using an Ohio address when applying for the disabled veteran's property tax exemption for your Michigan house? It's no wonder why they're questioning your residency.

I think your path forward is simple. Either live in the Michigan house most of the time or don't declare it as your principal residence. The argument that your mail box is bigger in Ohio, hence your mail goes there, doesn't seem credible. Maybe it's time to think about selling one of your houses.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:18 PM
 
7,084 posts, read 6,080,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3000 View Post
All the preamble above culminate with the question and problem I am facing now. I also happen to be a disable veteran, and this year I applied for a veteran tax exemption and used my Ohio address as a return address. This triggered an audit by the city assessor’s office in Lansing, MI. And they are asking for my id ad bills and/or statements from last year that have my Michigan address as the delivery address. So, I am a conundrum now given that I do not have enough relevant mails going to my Michigan address to fulfill this requirement, and this situation simply does seem fair.
Oh, missed that one.

The OP seems to want to claim property tax credits in two states - Michigan and Ohio.
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Old 05-30-2022, 12:27 PM
 
43 posts, read 64,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmichigan View Post
Which sounds like what you are trying to do. The proper thing to do is to only declare as your principal residence the house which is actually your principal residence. If you're not living in Michigan most of the time, then it is not your principal residence. Didn't you feel odd using an Ohio address when applying for the disabled veteran's property tax exemption for your Michigan house? It's no wonder why they're questioning your residency.

I think your path forward is simple. Either live in the Michigan house most of the time or don't declare it as your principal residence. The argument that your mail box is bigger in Ohio, hence your mail goes there, doesn't seem credible. Maybe it's time to think about selling one of your houses.
Yeah, I plan on selling my house in Ohio. Having two houses is too much headache and extra expenses for no good reason.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-30-2022, 12:29 PM
 
43 posts, read 64,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
Oh, missed that one.

The OP seems to want to claim property tax credits in two states - Michigan and Ohio.
No, I am not. I never applied for veteran tax exemption in Ohio. The same law giving tax exemption for veterans that exists in Michigan, also exists in Ohio. Also, I never claimed Ohio as being my primary residence.
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Old 06-10-2022, 11:36 AM
 
Location: on the wind
18,274 posts, read 11,878,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3000 View Post
No, I am not. I never applied for veteran tax exemption in Ohio. The same law giving tax exemption for veterans that exists in Michigan, also exists in Ohio. Also, I never claimed Ohio as being my primary residence.
Whether you intend it to or not, where you receive mail (especially recurring financial/business mail like utility bills, etc) contributes to the appearance that your primary residence is in fact Ohio. Seems to me one pretty simple step is to do a better job of treating your MI home as your primary...have your mail addressed there but if you plan to be away for more than a week at a time, have it held or forwarded by the USPO. The excuse that the MI home's mailbox is too small to hold your accumulated mail is flimsy at best. Either that or get a larger mailbox for the MI home! If you were in fact not residing in MI long enough in a specific calendar year to meet the exemption requirements, guess you'll owe the full tax assessment for it unless you can make your case otherwise with the tax board.

Last edited by Parnassia; 06-10-2022 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 06-21-2022, 04:33 PM
 
43 posts, read 64,227 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Whether you intend it to or not, where you receive mail (especially recurring financial/business mail like utility bills, etc) contributes to the appearance that your primary residence is in fact Ohio. Seems to me one pretty simple step is to do a better job of treating your MI home as your primary...have your mail addressed there but if you plan to be away for more than a week at a time, have it held or forwarded by the USPO. The excuse that the MI home's mailbox is too small to hold your accumulated mail is flimsy at best. Either that or get a larger mailbox for the MI home! If you were in fact not residing in MI long enough in a specific calendar year to meet the exemption requirements, guess you'll owe the full tax assessment for it unless you can make your case otherwise with the tax board.
Thanks for your response.

Yeah, it sounds like a flimsy excuse for sure, but it happens to be true. And I can not replace the mailbox given that I live in a condo. Below is a pic of the mail box, if one can call it a mail box:



Although it may not seem clear in the pic, it is very small and would easily fill up in 2 two weeks or less.

If they are going to apply the rule that "one has to spending most of the time in a residence for it to be considered primary", so they would have to apply the same rule for everybody who has two homes, or travel a lot for work, etc; because pretty much all of them claim a given a residence as primary even though they may not spend most of the time there. It simply is not fair to single out somebody; in the same it is not fair for the police to stop you for driving 5 miles above the speed limit, given that almost everybody drives at least 5 miles above the speed limit. Besides, what the heck does the government has to do with where one spends his/her personal and private time.
Attached Thumbnails
Issue with Primary Residence Property Tax Exemption in MI-mailboxes.jpg  

Last edited by tk3000; 06-21-2022 at 04:55 PM..
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