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Don't lose your property tax exemption!

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Don't lose your property tax exemption

Leslie Jones

As a former teacher, Leslie has had intense training in the fine art of listening for subtleties and understanding complex issues...

As a former teacher, Leslie has had intense training in the fine art of listening for subtleties and understanding complex issues...

Feb 24 4 minutes read

What Utah County Residents Need to Know About the Primary Residency Declaration Form and How It Impacts Their Taxes

When buying a home, there seems to be no end to the forms and paperwork. Navigating the legalities can become overwhelming, especially if you do not have an experienced real estate agent to guide you through the process.

If you are buying a home in Utah County, there is one critical form you should not ignore, because it can greatly impact your property taxes: the Primary Residence Declaration Form.

Anytime there is a transfer in property ownership in Utah County, the title company should provide you with the Primary Residency Declaration Form, and it’s your responsibility to return the form to the Utah County assessor within five days of your settlement. If not, your property taxes could rise significantly, by almost 50 percent!

In a recent video, Eric Poulsen of Kasby Real Estate met with Utah County Assessor Kris Poulson to clear up some questions about the Primary Residency Declaration Form and recent legislation surrounding this form.

Let’s dive a little deeper into what this form is and how it can impact you.

What is the Primary Residence Declaration form?

Properties that serve as your primary residence are assessed and taxed based on 55 percent of its market value, meaning you don’t need to pay taxes on the remaining 45 percent. The Primary Residence Declaration Form lets your local county assessor know that your home is your primary residence and qualifies for this lower tax rate.

What qualifies as a primary residence?

Your home--including apartments, condos, mobile homes, etc.--and up to one acre of surrounding land can qualify if someone occupies the home for a minimum of 183 days per calendar year.

Where should I submit the form?

According to utahcounty.gov, you can print the form and email it to [email protected] or mail it to: 

Utah County Assessor's Office

Attn: Primary Residential Declaration

100 East Center Street

Provo, UT 84606

How long do I have to submit the form?

The form must be turned in by the new property owner within five days of your settlement when you purchase a new home or property.

What happens if I do not turn in the form on time?

Utah County Assessor Kris Poulson says, “If [you] don’t return the [Primary Residency Declaration Form], the statute says that [you] will not receive this residential exemption. There are appeal rights, but it’s almost a 50 percent increase in your taxes.”

If you fail to turn in the form, you can go through the appeal process to qualify for the lower tax rate on your property and try to recover some of the tax money you spent in years past.

What happens if I leave the country for an extended period of time? Do I still qualify?

Whether you are serving a military assignment, you have a temporary job transfer, or you are serving a mission abroad, in Utah you can still receive the tax break that comes with a primary residence as long as someone occupies your home for 183 days out of the year. That includes renters, family, etc.

When will I see this form?

If you are buying a home or transferring a title, you will see this form. “The declaration is only utilized when there is a transfer of property ownership,” Kris Poulson says, which means only a small percentage of the population will receive this form.

How can I tell if I am receiving the exemption?

According to utahcounty.gov, “Your valuation notice (received in July) or your Tax Notice (received in November) will indicate if you received the exemption. The taxable value of your property will be 55% of the market value (reflecting the 45% exemption).”

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