As with many other states, Hawaii homeowners can receive exemptions for living in their own home for longer than a nine month period each year. This is called your principal residence and is defined as the place where an individual has a true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment and to which place the individual has whenever absent, the intention of returning. It is the place in which a person has voluntarily fixed habitation, not for mere special, temporary or vacation purposes, but with the intension of making a permanent home. The basic home exemption is $40,000. For homeowners 60 years of age and older, higher exemption amounts apply (see “Home Exemptions for 60 Years of Age or Over”). In 2005, an additional exemption of 20% of the assessed value of property not to exceed $80,000 was also enacted.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE
are entitled to a home exemption IF:
1) You own and occupy the property as your principal home for more than 200 calendar days of a calendar year. The term “principal home” is defined as the place where an individual has a true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment and to which place the individual has whenever absent, the intention of returning. It is the place in which a person has voluntarily fixed habitation, not for mere special, temporary or vacation purposes, but with the intention of making a permanent home.
The three elements that are necessary for real property to be considered a “principal home” are:
(A) The taxpayer has no other home exemption or principal home in any other jurisdiction;
(B) Intent of the owner to create or maintain a principal home within the County; and
(C) Owner’s actual physical occupancy of the principal home within the County.
2. The ownership of your property is recorded at the Bureau of Conveyances on or before December 31 preceding the tax year for which the exemption is claimed or by June 30. All leases must be for a term of ten years or more and recorded at the Bureau of Conveyances in order for the lessee to qualify for the home exemption. In the case of a lease of Hawaiian homestead land, either lessee and/or spouse shall be entitled to the home exemption. Proof of marriage must be submitted for the non-Hawaiian spouse claiming the home exemption.
3) You must file Form 19-71 for the home exemption on or before December 31 preceding the tax year for first half payment or by June 30 for the second half payment.
SINGLE HOME EXEMPTION
The law allows just one home exemption for any taxpayer. A husband and wife shall not be permitted exemption of separate homes owner by each of them, unless they are living separate and apart, in which case they shall be entitled to one exemption, to be apportioned equally between each of their respective homes.
HOME EXEMPTIONS FOR 60 YEARS OF AGE OR OVER
– For those aged 60 to 69, the exemption amount is $80,000.
– For those 70 and older, the exemption amount is $100,000.
– To obtain the $80,000 or $100,000 exemption, the claimant
must be 60 or 70 years of age on or before December 31,
preceding the tax year.
IF YOU SELL, RENT OR BUY ANOTHER HOME
If changes occur in the use of your home, such as renting, conducting a business or you no longer occupy the home, you must report such changes to the Tax Office. These changes will affect your exemption.
IF YOU RECENTLY PURCHASED A NEW HOME IT IS MPORTANT TO FILE A NEW CLAIM FOR EXEMPTION.
You will not qualify for the exemption that was filed by the seller of the property nor will a claim be transferred from your former residence if you had one. Each time you change your principal residence you will need to file a new exemption form at the Bureau of Conveyances. The exemption will take place at the time of processing for the next tax year.
A home exemption is also available to a person with a residential lease of a five year duration or longer and who is responsible for paying all property taxes on the property and to a person buying under an agreement of sale if he has agreed at the time of purchase to pay all taxes. Owners or cooperatives and condominiums apartments are also eligible. Further exemptions are allowed to disabled veterans (no tax at all), to those who are blind, deaf, totally disabled, amputees, paralytics or incurably insane, and to personas afflicted with leprosy, also exempt from real property tax is property owned by a religious organization, educational institution or government agency.
To apply for exemptions, please go to our County of Hawaii Real Property Tax Division Weblink.