By Yosefi Seltzer, Fort Meade Legal Assistance Attorney
If you or your spouse are a disabled veteran and own a house in Maryland, it is possible that you may be exempt from Maryland real estate taxes.
Maryland Tax Property Article Section 7-208 states that a veteran who was honorably discharged and is confirmed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to have a 100 percent service-connected disability may apply for a full exemption from real estate taxes for the house she/he owns in Maryland.
However, there are several additional requirements to qualify:
- The house must be the legal residence of the veteran, which means it must be the primary home where the veteran lives.
- The veteran or surviving spouse must own the home.
- The home must be occupied by no more than two families.
- The 100 percent service-connected disability must not be the result of the veteran’s misconduct.
- The disability must be reasonably certain to continue for the life of the veteran.
The exemption also applies to surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty if the home was owned by the service member at the time of death.
The exemption applies as well if the surviving spouse acquired the home within two years of the service member’s death, and the service member or spouse was a legal resident of Maryland at the time of the service member’s death.
To be eligible for the exemption, the spouse must live in the home as his/her primary residence and not remarry.
In order to qualify, the applicant must submit a copy of the veteran/service-member’s DD-214 along with a completed Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation Application for Exemption for Disabled Veterans Form.
The form can be found at: http://dat.maryland.gov/SDAT%20Forms/veteran.pdf.
The form must be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to confirm that the service member was declared to have a service-connected disability that was not incurred through misconduct of the service member, that the disability is permanent and is at a 100 percent rating.
If the veteran or spouse was entitled to an exemption prior to the application’s approval, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation is authorized to issue a retroactive refund including interest on the exempt amount of taxes that was previously paid.
For more information regarding this benefit, you may contact the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
To discuss your personal legal questions, call the Fort Meade Legal Assistance Office to schedule an appointment with an attorney at 301-677-9504 or 301-677-9536.