To be eligible for this program you must meet the age or disability, ownership, residency, equity and income requirements.
Age and Disability – You must be at least 60 years of age by December 31 of the year you apply, or unable to work because of a disability, or at least 57 years of age and the surviving spouse or domestic partner of a person who was receiving a deferral at the time of his/her death. Your application must include proof of your age or disability. A doctor's verification form or written acknowledgment/decision by the Social Security Administration is required for the proof of disability.
Ownership & Residency – You must own and live in the qualifying primary residence at the time you apply for the deferral. You must occupy the home for more than 6 months a year. However, if you are confined to a nursing home, boarding home or adult family home, your home may still be considered your primary residence.
If your home was transferred to an irrevocable trust, you may still qualify. A copy of the Trust Agreement needs to be filed with your application. You are NOT eligible to defer your taxes if you have only a share ownership in cooperative housing, a life estate, a lease for life, or a revocable trust.
Equity – The amount of taxes deferred cannot exceed 80 percent of your equity. Equity is the difference between the assessed value of the property and any debts secured by the property. Debts include mortgages, lines of credit, IRS liens, unpaid balances on special assessments, judgements, and any other liens against the property.
Income – You must have an annual gross income of $45,000 or less to qualify. This includes the combined disposable income of the applicant, spouse/domestic partner and any co-tenants. A co-tenant is a person who has ownership interest and resides in the primary residence. If your household income is $40,000 or less, you must also apply for the Property Tax Exemption Program.
Disposable income is defined in statute (RCW 84.36.383) and includes income from all sources, whether or not the income is taxable for federal income tax purposes. This means all gross taxable and non-taxable income, including (but not limited to) Social Security, retirement, disability pension, Veterans benefits (except service connected), interest, dividends, wages, capital gains, rental income, etc. You cannot deduct losses or depreciation or use losses to offset gains. Non-reimbursed costs for prescription drugs, in-home care, or nursing home expenses for either spouse/domestic partner can be deducted from income.