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FAQs


Natural Disaster Property Tax Reduction - FAQs regarding real property dwellings, real property improvements, trailers and mobile homes and personal property.


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Property Tax Relief Forms


PPB-8 (PTAP) - Property Tax Assistance Application
PPB-8A (MDV) - Montana Disabled Veteran Property Tax Relief Application
Form 2EC - Homeowner/Renter Income Tax Credit
AB-25 - Natural Disaster Application


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Natural Disaster Tax Relief and Assistance, Including Fires, Floods and Drought


The Department of Revenue expresses sincere sympathy to those Montanans whose homes, lands and other property have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster. Please let us help. If you are a Montana property owner who has experienced a loss of your dwelling, other buildings, or forestland due to a natural disaster, you may be eligible for property tax relief or an income tax filing extension.

We can provide you with necessary information, as well as issue replacement copies of property records, past-year tax returns or other revenue-related information.

Eligible Properties

Real property dwellings - Completely or partially destroyed
Real property improvements (such as garages, sheds, barns and grain bins) - Completely or partially destroyed
Manufactured housing and mobile homes - Completely or partially destroyed
Business equipment - Completely or partially destroyed

The disaster must have rendered the property unsuitable for its previous use to qualify for property tax relief. The relief is prorated based on the number of days in the current tax year that the property was unsuitable for its previous use. 

You can apply by completing a Natural Disaster Application ( Form AB-25). This application is also available in all Department of Revenue local offices. Simply call your local office to have a form mailed to you.  If needed, your local Department of Revenue office can provide you with necessary property information to complete the form.  
 

Eligible Lands

The landowner may file for property tax relief for forest lands impacted by a natural disaster to such an extent the lands do not meet the minimum stocking requirements.The landowner must show that the stocking rate of the lands has been reduced below the minimum requirements. This adjustment results in a 50% reduction in forest productivity value for 20 years from the date of the disaster. The first reduction is available the year following the disaster event.

You can apply by completing a  Form AB-26.

Federal Income Tax Deduction

Property owners may also be eligible for a federal income tax casualty loss deduction on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. The same Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, is required for both the Montana state return and the federal Form 1040. Additional information is available by visiting the Internal Revenue Service website, and typing "Tax Topic 507" in the search box.


Flooding


If you have experienced property loss or damage because of a flood, you may be eligible for property tax relief.  The Montana Department of Revenue is here to assist you.

Property Tax Relief Information

Property tax relief is available to property owners who have experienced partial or complete property loss or damage due to a flood. In general, this means that the property has been rendered unsuitable for its previous use. Eligible properties include these types:

Real property dwellings - completely or partially destroyed
Real property improvements (such as garages, sheds, barns, and grain bins) - completely or partially destroyed
Manufactured housing / mobile homes - completely or partially destroyed
Business equipment - completely or partially destroyed

The flood must have rendered the property unsuitable for its previous use to qualify for property tax relief. The tax relief is prorated based upon the number of days in the current tax year that the property was unsuitable for its previous use.

To apply for property tax relief, please obtain and complete a Natural Disaster Application (Form AB-25).This application is also available in all Department of Revenue local offices. You may call your local office to have a form mailed to you. If needed, your local Department of Revenue office can provide you with necessary property information to complete the form. You can work with the local office when the appraiser contacts you to review your property’s damage.

The department can also assist you by issuing replacement copies of your property record, past-year tax returns or other revenue-related information that may have been lost or damaged.

Questions

If you have questions, we’re here to help:

Contact your local Department of Revenue office.
Local Department of Revenue office addresses and phone numbers


Wildfire Disasters


If you have experienced property loss or damage because of a wildfire, you may be eligible for property tax relief. The Montana Department of Revenue is here to assist you.

Property Tax Relief Information

Property tax relief is available to property owners who have experienced partial or complete property loss or damage due to wildfire. In general, this means that the property has been rendered unsuitable for its previous use. Eligible properties include these types:

Real property dwellings - completely or partially destroyed
Real property improvements (such as garages, sheds, barns, and grain bins) - completely or partially destroyed
Manufactured housing / mobile homes - completely or partially destroyed
Business equipment  - completely or partially destroyed
Commercial timber abatement for forestland property

The wildfire must have rendered the property unsuitable for its previous use to qualify for property tax relief. The tax relief is prorated based upon the number of days in the current tax year that the property was unsuitable for its previous use. 

To apply for property tax relief, please obtain and complete a Natural Disaster Application ( Form AB-25).This application is also available in all Department of Revenue local offices.You may call your local office to have a form mailed to you. If needed, your local  office can provide you with necessary property information to complete the form.You can also work with your local office when the appraiser contacts you to review your property’s damage.

In addition, property tax relief is available for commercial timber on forestland that has been destroyed by wildfire to the point that minimum stocking requirements are no longer met. To apply, complete an Informal Request for Review ( Form AB-26). If approved, eligible properties receive a 50 percent reduction in assessed value for 20 years from the date of the disaster beginning the first full tax year following the natural disaster.

The department can also assist you by issuing replacement copies of your property record, past-year tax returns or other revenue-related information that may have been lost or damaged.

Questions

If you have questions, we are here to help:

Contact your local Department of Revenue office.
Local Department of Revenue office addresses and phone numbers


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Montana Disabled Veteran or Spouses of Montana Disabled Veterans (MDV)


New Program Changes (15-6-311, MCA)

- Property owners who were in the program as of December 31, 2014, do not have to reapply.
- New applicants are required to apply the first year only. Apply by April 15.
- Everyone has to meet income and property ownership/occupancy and income requirements every year.
- Once you have applied for the program, we will notify you each year whether you qualify. You will be included in the program’s annual income verification until you move from your residence.
- The five-acre parcel size limitation has been eliminated. For agricultural and timber parcels, the benefit applies only to one-acre home sites (if you are eligible).
 

New Applicants: Return your completed and signed MDV application form to your local Department of Revenue office. Your application must be postmarked or hand-delivered by April 15. (If you miss the deadline, apply as soon as possible to ensure you are included in the program’s verification process for the following tax year.)
 

Qualifying Criteria
- A reduced property tax rate is available for 100% disabled veterans and the unmarried surviving spouse of veterans who died while on active duty or died as a result of a service-connected disability. You must own or currently be under contract to purchase a home or mobile/manufactured home and occupy the home as your primary residence for at least seven months of the tax year you are applying for.

- To determine your eligibility, the department will verify your Federal Adjusted Gross Income (FAGI), excluding capital and income losses. For a single applicant, your income must be less than $48,626 and for heads of household and married applicants, your income must be less than $56,107 (a spouse’s income is included regardless of whether they are an owner of the property). For an unmarried surviving spouse, your income must be less than $42,392. 

The following chart shows the 2016 income guidelines. Depending on the marital status and income of the homeowner, the tax rate is reduced by 100%, 80%, 70% or 50% of the normal tax rate. The income ranges are updated each year for inflation.

2016 Income Guidelines for the Montana Disabled Veteran Tax Assistance Program
Single Person Married or
Filing Head of Household
Surviving Spouse Percent Reduction
$0 - $37,404 $0 - $44,885 $0 - $31,170 100%
$37,405 - $41,145 $44,886 - $48,626 $31,171 - $34,911 80%
$41,146 - $44,885 $48,627 - $52,366 $34,912 - $38,651 70%
$44,886 - $56,107 $52,267 - $56,107 $38,652 - $42,392 50%

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Extended Property Tax Assistance Program (EPTAP)


The 2003 Legislature created the Extended Property Tax Program (EPTAP) to mitigate extraordinary market value increases during six year appraisal cycles. The 2015 Legislature passed Senate Bill 157, changing the appraisal cycle from six to every two years.  A two-year appraisal cycle significantly reduces the need for a program like EPTAP. The 2015 Legislature therefore did not renew the program. As a result, the program ended in 2014. The department will not mail 2015 EPTAP applications.


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Property Tax Assistance Program (PTAP)


New Program Changes (15-6-305, MCA)

- Property owners who were in the program as of December 31, 2014, do not have to reapply.
- New applicants are required to apply the first year only. Apply by April 15.
- Everyone has to meet income and property ownership/occupancy requirements every year.
- Once you have applied for the program, we will notify you each year whether you qualify. You will be included in the program’s annual income verification until you move from your residence.
- If you are eligible, the PTAP benefit is applied to the first $200,000 of the market value of your primary residential property. The five-acre parcel limitation has been eliminated. For agricultural and timber parcels, the benefit applies only to the one acre home sites (if you are eligible).
 

New Applicants: Return your completed and signed PTAP application form to your local Department of Revenue office. Your application must be postmarked or hand-delivered by April 15. (If you miss the deadline, apply as soon as possible to ensure you are included in the program’s verification process for the following tax year.) 
 

Qualifying Criteria

- You must own or currently be under contract to purchase a home or mobile/manufactured home and occupy the home as your primary residence for at least seven months of the tax year you are applying for.

- To determine your eligibility, the department will verify your Federal Adjusted Gross Income (FAGI), excluding capital and income losses. For a single applicant, your income must be less than $21,032 and for heads of household and married applicants, your income must be less than $28,043. A spouse’s income is included regardless of whether they are an owner of the property.
 

The following chart shows the 2016 income guidelines. Depending on the marital status and income of the homeowner, the tax rate is reduced by 80%, 50% or 30% of the normal tax rate. The income ranges are updated each year for inflation.

2016 Income Guidelines for the Property Tax Assistance Program
Single Person Married or
Filing Head of Household
Percent Reduction
$0 - $8,413 $0 - $11,217 80%
$8,414 - $12,900 $11,218 - $19,630 50%
$12,901 - $21,032 $19,631 - $28,043 30%

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Overview


Property Tax Assistance Program (PTAP) and the Montana Disabled Veterans Property Tax Assistance (MDV) are programs that can reduce your property tax rate. Click on tabs 2-5 above for more information on these property tax relief programs. Tab Six, Elderly Homeowner/Renter Credit (Form 2EC), is a income tax relief program.


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Homeowner/Renter Income Tax Credit (Form 2EC)


Montana homeowners or renters age 62 or older may qualify for this program and receive up to a $1,000 refundable tax credit, even if you do not have to file an income tax return. Eligibility of this program is based on your age, residency, income and the amount you pay in rent or property taxes.You may be able to claim refunds for up to five previous years.
 

Form 2EC
 

If you have any questions filling out the Form 2EC, please contact us at 1-866-859-2254 (in Helena, 444-6900).