WSR 03-03-099

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE


[ Filed January 17, 2003, 4:22 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-23-097.

Title of Rule: NEW SECTIONS: WAC 458-16A-100 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Definitions, 458-16A-110 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Gross income, 458-16A-115 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Adjusted gross income, 458-16A-120 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Determining combined disposable income, 458-16A-130 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Qualifications for exemption, 458-16A-135 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Application procedures, 458-16A-140 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Exemption described -- Exemption granted -- Freezing property values, and 458-16A-150 Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Requirements for keeping the exemption.

REPEALED SECTIONS: WAC 458-16-010 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Definitions, 458-16-011 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Gross income, 458-16-012 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Adjusted gross income, 458-16-013 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Disposable income, 458-16-020 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Qualifications for exemption, 458-16-022 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Qualifications for cooperative housing, 458-16-030 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Claims, 458-16-040 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Denial -- Appeal -- Penalty -- Perjury, 458-16-060 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Transfer of exemption, 458-16-070 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Cancellations, and 458-16-079 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Refunds -- Late filings.

Purpose: These rules provide taxpayers and counties with administrative procedures for and interpretations of the property tax exemption for senior citizens and disabled persons.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 84.36.383, 84.36.389, and 84.36.865.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 84.36.379, 81.36.381, 84.36.383, 84.36.385, 84.36.387, and 84.36.389.

Summary: The department proposes to update and consolidate information currently provided in eleven rules in chapter 458-16 WAC into eight new rules in chapter 458-16A WAC. The current rules discussing property tax exemptions available for senior citizens and disabled persons provide both interpretive and procedural aid for applicants and the counties. The proposed rules provide updated information to incorporate legislative changes, identify what documents an applicant for an exemption must present, and to explain how a county may process documents to maintain confidentiality and audit integrity.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To incorporate provisions of chapter 333, Laws of 1998, and chapter 358, Laws of 1999.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Ed Ratcliffe, 1025 Union Avenue S.E., Suite #400, Olympia, WA, (360) 570-6126; Implementation and Enforcement: Gary O'Neil, 1025 Union Avenue S.E., Suite #200, Olympia, WA, (360) 570-5860.

Name of Proponent: Department of Revenue, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The proposed eight new rules for chapter 458-16A WAC update information currently provided in eleven existing rules in chapter 458-16 WAC. Placing the updated information in chapter 458-16A WAC will consolidate rules addressing senior citizen/disabled person exemptions and deferrals in a single WAC chapter.

The proposed rules inform taxpayers, county assessors, and county treasurers about the property tax exemption granted by RCW 84.36.381 to senior citizens and disabled persons. These rules provide definitions, qualifications, and explain the procedures for the exemption. The department anticipates that this updated information will provide additional guidance resulting in uniform procedures and fewer disputes regarding statutory requirements for the exemption, documents an applicant for exemption must present, and the required timing for a claim for exemption. The updated information also identifies how a county should process documents to maintain confidentiality and audit integrity.

Specific changes to existing information, identified on the basis of the existing rules in chapter 458-16 WAC, include:

WAC 458-16-010 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Definitions, WAC 458-16A-100 incorporates most of the definitions found in WAC 458-16-010. The rule adds an introduction to the definitions and presents them in alphabetical order.

Specific changes in subsection order: (1) The proposed rule breaks up the definition of "residence" into two parts - "residence" and "principal residence." The revised definition of "principal residence" includes qualifications outlined for the exemption now found in WAC 458-16-020(5). The most significant change to the definition is added in clause (iv) that allows the residence to be rented out to pay for nursing home or hospital costs. Clause (iv) is the result of a statutory amendment to RCW 84.36.381 (1)(c) in 1993. The current definition's discussion of those documents that may be used to prove residency is moved into the discussion of supporting documents found in WAC 458-16A-135.

(2) The definition of "real property" discussing the treatment of land with a mobile home was deleted. It is incorporated into the definition of "residence."

(3) The definition of "preceding calendar year" is replaced by "assessment year."

(5) The definition of "combined disposable income" has been revised to match the statutory definition.

(7) The discussion of trusts has been moved out of the definition of "owned." It is moved to a new definition of "life estate." This discussion requires that a trust document provide the senior with the equivalent of a life estate in its grants of the beneficial interest of a principal residence regardless of whether or not the trust is revocable.

(9) The definition of "family" has been changed to "family dwelling unit" so that the exclusion of a boarding or rooming house makes sense in the context of the definition.

(10) The definition of "replacement residence" has been revised to merely describe what is meant by the term without requiring the reader to flip to other rule sections.

(11) The discussion of documentation needed to meet the definition of "physical disability" has been moved to the discussion of supporting documents in WAC 458-16A-135.

(12) and (13) The definitions of "remainderman" and "remainder" have been deleted as these terms are not used in the rules.

(17) The definition of "excess levies" was revised to be consistent with definition of excess levies in WAC 458-19-005 Definitions (the levy rules).

(18) The definition of "claimant" has been revised to define a person claiming the exemption, not a person necessarily already approved for the program. This change is consistent with the use of the term claimant in RCW 84.36.381.

(19) The definition of "annuity" was revised with more descriptive language.

Additions: The proposed WAC 458-16A-100 provides definitions of "capital gain" subsection (4) and "depreciation" subsection (9) to help explain these federal income tax terms in relation to determining disposable income and the proposed rules discussing "gross income" and "adjusted gross income" under the Internal Revenue Code. A brief explanation "capital gains" in regards to the sale of real property was previously found in WAC 458-16-013. The added definition provides a more complete explanation of the term.

The proposed rule includes the definition of "disposable income" from WAC 458-16-013 subsection (10). The amended definition updates adjusted gross income (AGI) to the year of adoption and allows AGI to track amendments made in the federal income tax code without amending the rules for each change. Thus, allowing everyone to rely upon current federal income tax publications and forms to determine a claimant's AGI.

The proposed rule adds definition for "excluded military pay or benefits" subsection (12), "home health care" subsection (14), "legally prescribed drugs" subsection (16), "pension" subsection (20), and "veterans benefits" subsection (26) to aid in determining a persons disposable income. A good portion of these definitions have been pulled from the discussion of disposable income in WAC 458-16-013.

WAC 458-16-011 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Gross income, the proposed rule WAC 458-16A-110 describes gross income within the context of the program. It adds an introduction and provides an explanation to the assessor about how to determine gross income. The rule updates the definition of gross income with current federal income tax law. The discussion of the exclusion for the rental value of parsonages is deleted under WAC 458-16-011(6) because a leased residence would not qualify for the program. The exclusion for income tax paid by a lessee corporation in WAC 458-16-011(9) and for sports programs conducted by the Red Cross were deleted because these exclusions in the Internal Revenue Code sections 110 and 114 were repealed by federal law in 1990. The exclusion for contributions to the capital of a corporation was deleted because it has no relevance to the program (a corporation cannot be a claimant or cotenant). The exclusion outlined in WAC 458-16-011(17) was deleted from the rule because the federal exclusion for qualified group legal services plans terminated in June of 1992.

WAC 458-16-012 Senior citizens and disabled persons exemption -- Adjusted gross income, the proposed rule WAC 458-16A-115 describes adjusted gross income within the context of the program. It adds an introduction and provides an explanation to the assessor about how to determine adjusted gross income. The rule updates the definition of adjusted gross income with current federal income tax law. In particular, the rule deletes the previous exclusion for military moving expenses in WAC 458-16-012(5) as federal law has changed. This moving expense deduction has become an exclusion from gross income under Internal Revenue Code section 217(g).

WAC 458-16-013 Senior citizens and disabled persons exemption -- Disposable income, most of the discussion in this current rule was moved into the definition section (see changes made to WAC 458-16-010 above). Proposed WAC 458-16A-120 provides a more complete discussion about how an assessor may determine a claimant's combined disposable income by discussing each of the items (capital gains, depreciation, pension and annuity amounts) in terms of the type of income tax return filed and/or the supporting documents for these amounts.

WAC 458-16-020 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Qualifications for exemption, qualifications for the program have been moved to WAC 458-16A-130. It provides a summary of the requirements followed by a breakdown of each requirement. The proposed rule clarifies what the term "retired" means in regards to a disabled individual who has not ever been employed. Income requirements have been added with a citation to the statutory amounts set by RCW 84.36.381. The principal residence requirements are updated to reflect that because of a change in RCW 84.36.381 a claimant must reside in the residence at the time of filing and no longer is required to occupy the residence on January 1st of that year.

WAC 458-16-022 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Qualifications for cooperative housing, the information contained in this rule is found primarily in WAC 458-16A-135 Application procedures, (4)(b) (signatures) and (d) (cooperative agreement to reduce rent). The requirement that the claimant owns a share representing his or her unit in the cooperative was repetitive as this information was found (and will continue to be found) in the definition of residence.

WAC 458-16-030 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Claims, this section was mostly incorporated with an introduction and much more detailed explanations of how to apply for the program in WAC 458-16A-135. The discussion in the second sentence of this rule, WAC 458-16-030, requiring a status report when income changes to reflect a different exemption level, has been moved to WAC 458-16A-150.

Additions: Claimant's are now required by RCW 84.36.385 to reapply every four years. A discussion of how to reapply for the exemption is added in WAC 458-16A-150(4). Under a statutory change made in 1994, 1994 Washington Laws sp.s. ch. 8 (revised in 1995, 1995 Washington Laws 1st sp.s. ch.8), the value of the senior's residence is frozen. A discussion of freezing the property values is added in WAC 458-16-150(6).

WAC 458-16-040 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Denial -- Appeal -- Penalty -- Perjury, the penalty and perjury statements contained in this are found in WAC 458-16A-135 Application procedures. The explanation of denials and appeal rights have been moved to WAC 458-16A-140(5) Exemption granted -- Exemption denied -- Freezing property values and to WAC 458-16A-150.

WAC 458-16-060 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Transfer of exemption, the discussion of transferring the exemption to a new residence is found in subsection (5) of WAC 458-16A-150 Requirements for keeping the exemption. The timing of the transfer of the exemption has been changed to a prorata split based upon the period the senior owns the home and no longer upon whether or not property taxes have been paid. This change is consistent with other property tax exemptions and the statutory direction of RCW 84.40.360.

WAC 458-16-070 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Cancellation, the discussion of the cancellation of the exemption has been moved to subsection (3) of WAC 458-16A-150 Requirements for keeping the exemption. The timing of the period the exemption applies has been changed to a prorata split based upon the period the senior qualifies for the program and no longer upon whether or not the taxes have been paid. This change is consistent with other property tax exemptions and the statutory direction of RCW 84.40.360.

WAC 458-16-079 Senior citizen and disabled persons exemption -- Refunds -- Late filings, the explanation that a claimant may apply for an exemption after he or she has qualified is provided in WAC 458-16A-135. The processing directions for these late filings and refund requests is provided in WAC 458-16A-140. Although the rule provides for refunds, it no longer provides the assessor with a description of the procedure for obtaining the refund. This discussion was deleted because it was based on RCW 84.56.400 and this statute was repealed in 1988.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: This proposal repeals eleven existing rules, as explained above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. A small business economic impact statement is not required because the rule and the proposed amendments do not impose any requirements or burdens upon small businesses that are not already specifically required by statute.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The proposed rules are not significant legislative rules as defined in RCW 34.05.328.

Hearing Location: Department of Revenue, Capital Plaza Building, 4th Floor Large Conference Room, 1025 Union Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, on February 26, 2003, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Sandy Davis no later than ten days before the hearing date, TTY 1-800-451-7985 or (360) 570-6175.

Submit Written Comments to: Ed Ratcliffe, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 47467, Olympia, WA 98504-7467, fax (360) 664-0693, e-mail edr@dor.wa.gov, by February 26, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: March 5, 2003.

January 17, 2003

Alan R. Lynn

Rules Coordinator

Legislation and Policy Division

OTS-6148.2

Chapter 458-16A WAC

((NONPROFIT)) PROPERTY TAX -- EXEMPTIONS -- HOMES FOR THE AGING, SENIOR CITIZENS AND DISABLED PERSONS


NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-100   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Definitions.   (1) Introduction. This rule contains definitions of the terms used for the senior citizen and disabled person exemption from property taxes. The definitions apply to the senior citizen and disabled person exemption contained in sections RCW 84.36.381 through 84.36.389 unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

(2) Annuity. "Annuity" means a series of payments under a contract. Annuity contracts pay a fixed sum of money at regular intervals for more than one full year. An annuity may be paid as the proceeds of a life insurance contract (other than as a lump sum payment), unemployment compensation, disability payments, or even welfare receipts. It does not include payments for the care of dependent children.

(3) Assessment year. "Assessment year" means the year when the assessor lists and values the principal residence for property taxes. The assessment year is the calendar year prior to the year the taxes become due and payable. It is always the year before the claimant receives a reduction in his or her property taxes because of the senior citizen and disabled person exemption.

(4) Capital gain. "Capital gain" means the amount the seller receives for property (other than inventory) over that seller's adjusted basis in the property. The seller's initial basis in the property is the property's cost plus taxes, freight charges, and installation fees. In determining the capital gain, the seller's costs of transferring the property to a new owner are also added onto the adjusted basis of the property. If the property is acquired in some other manner than by purchase, the seller's initial basis in the property is determined by the way the seller received the property (e.g., property exchange, payment for services, gift, or inheritance). The seller adjusts (increases and decreases) the initial basis of the property for events occurring between the time the property is acquired and when it is sold (e.g., increased by the cost of improvements made later to the property).

(5) Claimant. "Claimant" means a person claiming the senior citizen and disabled person exemption by filing an application with the county assessor in the county where the property is located.

(6) Combined disposable income. "Combined disposable income" means the annual disposable income of the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and any cotenant reduced by amounts paid by the claimant or the claimant's spouse for their:

(a) Legally prescribed drugs;

(b) Home health care; and

(c) Nursing home expenses.

Disposable income is not reduced by these amounts if payments are reimbursed by insurance or a government program (e.g., Medicare or Medicaid). When the application is made, the combined disposable income is calculated for the assessment year.

(7) Cotenant. "Cotenant" means a person who resides with the claimant and who has an ownership interest in the residence.

(8) Department. "Department" means the state department of revenue.

(9) Depreciation. "Depreciation" means the annual deduction allowed to recover the cost of business or investment property having a useful life of more than one year. In limited circumstances, this cost, or a part of this cost, may be taken as a section 179 expense on the federal income tax return in the year business property is purchased.

(10) Disposable income. "Disposable income" means the adjusted gross income as defined in the Federal Internal Revenue Code of 2001, and as amended after that date, plus all the other items described below to the extent they are not included in or have been deducted from adjusted gross income. (RCW 84.36.383)

(a) Capital gains, other than gain excluded from the sale of a principal residence that is reinvested prior to the sale or within the same calendar year in a different principal residence;

(b) Losses. Amounts deducted for loss;

(c) Depreciation. Amounts deducted for depreciation;

(d) Pension and annuity receipts;

(e) Military pay and benefits other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments. Attendant-care and medical-aid payments are any payments for medical care, home health care, health insurance coverage, hospital benefits, or nursing home benefits provided by the military;

(f) Veterans benefits other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments. Attendant-care and medical-aid payments are any payments for medical care, home health care, health insurance coverage, hospital benefits, or nursing home benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA);

(g) Federal Social Security Act and railroad retirement benefits;

(h) Dividend receipts;

(i) Interest received on state and municipal bonds.

(11) Excess levies. "Excess levies" means voter-approved levies by taxing districts, other than port or public utility districts, of additional taxes in excess of the statutory aggregate dollar rate limit, the statutory dollar rate limit, or the constitutional one percent levy limit. It does not include regular levies allowed to exceed a statutory limit with voter approval or voted regular levies.

(12) Excluded military pay or benefits. "Excluded military pay or benefits" means military pay or benefits excluded from a person's federal gross income, other than those amounts excluded from that person's federal gross income for attendant-care and medical-aid payments. Members of the armed forces receive many different types of pay and allowances. Some payments or allowances are included in their gross income for the federal income tax while others are excluded from their gross income. Excluded military pay or benefits include:

(a) Compensation for active service while in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous duty area;

(b) Death allowances for burial services, gratuity payment to a survivor, or travel of dependents to the burial site;

(c) Moving allowances;

(d) Travel allowances;

(e) Uniform allowances;

(f) Group term life insurance payments made by the military on behalf of the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or the cotenant; and

(g) Survivor and retirement protection plan premiums paid by the military on behalf of the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or the cotenant.

(13) Family dwelling unit. "Family dwelling unit" means the dwelling unit occupied by a single person, any number of related persons, or a group not exceeding a total of eight related and unrelated nontransient persons living as a single noncommercial housekeeping unit. The term does not include a boarding or rooming house.

(14) Home health care. "Home health care" means the treatment or care of either the claimant or the claimant's spouse received in the home. It must be similar to the type of care provided in the normal course of treatment or care in a nursing home, although the person providing the home health care services need not be specially licensed. The treatment and care must meet at least one of the following criteria. It must be for:

(a) Medical treatment or care received in the home;

(b) Physical therapy received in the home;

(c) Food, oxygen, lawful substances taken internally or applied externally, necessary medical supplies, or special needs furniture or equipment (such as wheel chairs, hospital beds, or therapy equipment), brought into the home as part of a necessary or appropriate in-home service that is being rendered (such as a meals on wheels type program); or

(d) Attendant care to assist the claimant, or the claimant's spouse, with household tasks, and such personal care tasks as meal preparation, eating, dressing, personal hygiene, specialized body care, transfer, positioning, ambulation, bathing, toileting, self-medication a person provides for himself or herself, or such other tasks as may be necessary to maintain a person in his or her own home, but shall not include improvements or repair of the home itself.

(15) Lease for life. "Lease for life" means a lease that terminates upon the demise of the lessee.

(16) Legally prescribed drugs. "Legally prescribed drugs" means drugs supplied by prescription of a medical practitioner authorized to issue prescriptions by the laws of this state or another jurisdiction.

(17) Life estate. "Life estate" means an estate whose duration is limited to the life of the party holding it or of some other person.

(a) Reservation of a life estate upon a principal residence placed in trust or transferred to another is a life estate.

(b) Beneficial interest in a trust is considered a life estate for the settlor of a revocable or irrevocable trust who grants to himself or herself the beneficial interest directly in his or her principal residence, or the part of the trust containing his or her personal residence, for at least the period of his or her life.

(c) Beneficial interest in an irrevocable trust is considered a life estate, or a lease for life, for the beneficiary who is granted the beneficial interest representing his or her principal residence held in an irrevocable trust, if the beneficial interest is granted under the trust instrument for a period that is not less than the beneficiary's life.

(18) Owned. "Owned" includes "contract purchase" as well as "in fee," a "life estate," and any "lease for life." A residence owned by a marital community or owned by cotenants is deemed to be owned by each spouse or cotenant.

(19) Ownership by a marital community. "Ownership by a marital community" means property owned in common by both spouses. Property held in separate ownership by one spouse is not owned by the marital community. The person claiming the exemption must own the property for which the exemption is claimed. Example: A person qualifying for the exemption by virtue of age or disability cannot claim exemption on a residence owned by the person's spouse as a separate estate outside the marital community unless the claimant has a life estate therein.

(20) Pension. "Pension" means an agreement to provide for payments, not wages, to a person (or to that person's family) who has fulfilled certain conditions of service or reached a certain age. A pension may allow payment of all or a part of the entire pension benefit, in lieu of regular periodic payments.

(21) Physical disability. "Physical disability" means the condition of being disabled, resulting in the inability to pursue an occupation because of physical or mental impairment.

(22) Principal residence. "Principal residence" means the claimant owns and occupies the residence as his or her principal or main residence. It does not include a residence used merely as a vacation home. For purposes of this exemption:

(a) Principal or main residence means the claimant occupies the residence for more than six months each year.

(b) Confinement of the claimant to a hospital or nursing home does not disqualify the claim for exemption if:

(i) The residence is temporarily unoccupied;

(ii) The residence is occupied by the claimant's spouse or a person financially dependent on the claimant for support;

(iii) The residence is occupied by a caretaker who is not paid for watching the house;

(iv) The residence is rented for the purpose of paying nursing home or hospital costs.

(23) Regular gainful employment. "Regular gainful employment" means consistent or habitual labor or service which results in an increase in wealth or earnings.

(24) Replacement residence. "Replacement residence" means a residence that qualifies for the senior citizen and disabled person exemption and replaces the prior residence of the senior citizen or disabled person receiving the exemption.

(25) Residence. "Residence" means a single-family dwelling unit whether such unit be separate or part of a multiunit dwelling and includes up to one acre of the parcel of land on which the dwelling stands. The term also includes:

(a) A share ownership in a cooperative housing association, corporation, or partnership if the person claiming exemption can establish that his or her share represents the specific unit or portion of such structure in which he or she resides.

(b) A single-family dwelling situated upon leased lands and upon lands the fee of which is vested in the United States, any instrumentality thereof including an Indian tribe, the state of Washington, or its political subdivisions.

(c) A mobile home which has substantially lost its identity as a mobile unit by being fixed in location upon land owned or rented by the owner of said mobile home and placed on a foundation, posts, or blocks with fixed pipe connections for sewer, water or other utilities even though it may be listed and assessed by the county assessor as personal property. It includes up to one acre of the parcel of land on which a mobile home is located if both the land and mobile home are owned by the same qualified claimant.

(26) Veterans benefits. "Veterans benefits" means benefits paid or provided under any law, regulation, or administrative practice administered by the VA. Federal law excludes from gross income any veterans' benefits payments, paid under any law, regulation, or administrative practice administered by the VA.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-110   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Gross income.   (1) Introduction. This rule explains the definition of gross income used for federal income tax. In order to meet the income requirements for the senior citizen and disabled person exemption program, the claimant must provide supporting documents verifying combined disposable income. The gross income for federal income tax purposes of the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and any cotenants represents a part of the claimant's combined disposable income.

(a) Income tax return. In most cases, the claimant presents copies of federal income tax returns to demonstrate both gross income and adjusted gross income amount(s) for the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and any cotenants. The assessor then determines the disposable income for each person based upon that person's income tax return and the other information supplied by the claimant.

(b) No income tax return. When the claimant does not present federal income tax returns, the assessor must determine what constitutes gross income for the nonfiler and obtain copies of income documents to determine that person's gross income. This rule provides the assessor with some guidance in determining the gross income for a nonfiler.

(c) Verifying the gross income amount. In some cases, the assessor may choose to verify income amount(s). The rule provides the assessor some guidance in verifying all or part of the gross income for the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or any of the cotenants.

(2) Gross income determined. Internal Revenue Code section 61 defines "gross income," generally, as all income from whatever source derived. WAC 458-16A-135 lists the documentation used to determine the income of the claimant.

(3) Exclusions from the federal definition of gross income. A claimant may provide documentation or information about amounts received during the year that are excluded from gross income. These amounts should not be taken into account when determining gross income. The federal definition of gross income, generally, does not include:

(a) Gifts, inheritance amounts, or life insurance proceeds;

(b) Up to two hundred fifty thousand dollars (five hundred thousand dollars for a married couple) gain from the sale of a principal residence that meets the requirements of Internal Revenue Code section 121, see also WAC 458-16A-100 (definition of disposable income);

(c) Amounts received for illness or injury when received from workmen's compensation, a legal settlement, a legal judgment, a Medicare+Choice MSA, a federal employer under the federal Employees Compensation Act, accident insurance, or health insurance. If the amount received is from an employer directly for illness or injury or from employer-provided accident or health insurance, the amount is excluded only if it is paid to reimburse medical expenses, for the loss of limb, or for permanent disfigurement to the employee, the employee's spouse, or the employee's dependents;

(d) Contributions or payments made by an employer to accident and health plans, the employer's qualified transportation plan, a cafeteria plan, a dependent care assistance program, educational assistance programs, or for certain fringe benefits for employees described by Internal Revenue Code section 132. If the claimant earns wages as an employee, he or she should receive a W-2 form from the employer reporting those wages. This W-2 form should have already excluded the described contributions or payments provided for the employee's benefit in the above list. If a question arises about whether or not an employer adjusted the employee's gross income for these exclusions, the claimant should contact their employer and have the employer provide the county with a correct or corrected copy of the W-2 form to verify the correct wages paid to the employee;

(e) Income from discharge of indebtedness under certain limited circumstances, such as insolvency. These circumstances are outlined in Internal Revenue Code section 108;

(f) Improvements by a lessee left upon the lessor's property at the termination of a lease;

(g) Recovery of an amount deducted in a prior tax year that did not reduce federal income taxes paid in that prior year. For example, a person that itemized deductions may get a refund of property taxes or a stolen uninsured item will be returned. This refund or recovery is included in income unless the deduction did not result in a reduction of tax. It may not result in a reduction of tax because the person had to pay alternative minimum tax or taking away that deduction drops that person below the standard deduction amount. When the deduction did not reduce taxes, the recovery amount that did not reduce taxes is excluded. The assessor may request the claimant excluding such a recovery to present prior returns and worksheets such as the worksheets provided in Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, to demonstrate how the exclusion was calculated;

(h) Qualified scholarships and fellowship grants provided for certain educational expenses (e.g., tuition and books). Internal Revenue Code section 117 provides a complete description of qualified scholarship and fellowship grant amounts excluded from gross income;

(i) Meals or lodging furnished to an employee for the convenience of the employer;

(j) Excluded military pay and benefits. These exclusions are defined in WAC 458-16A-100. A discussion of how to determine and calculate these benefits is found in WAC 458-16A-120;

(k) Amounts received under insurance contracts for certain living expenses: As a general rule, when an individual's principal residence is damaged or destroyed by fire, storm, or other casualty, or who is denied access to his principal residence by governmental authorities because of the occurrence or the threat of such a casualty, gross income does not include amounts received by such individual under an insurance contract which are paid to compensate or reimburse such individual for living expenses incurred for himself and members of his household resulting from the loss of use or occupancy of such residence;

(l) Certain cost-sharing payments made for conservation purposes on land owned by the claimant: Payments received from federal or state funds primarily to conserve soil, protect or restore the environment, improve forests, or provide a habitat for wildlife are excluded from gross income. In addition, the claimant may exclude energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities from gross income. If the claimant indicates that he or she has received payments from the government or had improvements made to his or her residence or land by the government for conservation purposes, the assessor may ask for verification of the amount excluded (if any) from gross income and the information received by the claimant supporting this exclusion. See Internal Revenue Code sections 126 and 136;

(m) Child support payments;

(n) Qualified foster care payments made from the government or a qualified nonprofit to a foster parent or guardian. See Internal Revenue Code section 131;

(o) Income from United States savings bonds used to pay higher education tuition and fees. See Internal Revenue Code section 135;

(p) Distributions from a qualified state tuition program or a Coverdell Education Savings Account used to pay for higher education expenses. Distributions from a Coverdell Education Savings Account used to pay for elementary or secondary education expenses. See Internal Revenue Code sections 529 and 530.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-115   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Adjusted gross income.   (1) Introduction. This rule explains how an assessor determines the adjusted gross income for the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and any cotenants. In order to meet the income requirements for the senior citizen and disabled person exemption program, the claimant must provide supporting documents verifying combined disposable income. The adjusted gross income for federal income tax purposes of the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and any cotenants represents a part of the claimant's combined disposable income.

(a) Income tax return. In most cases, the claimant presents copies of federal income tax returns to demonstrate adjusted gross income amount(s) for the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and any cotenants. The assessor then determines the disposable income for each person based upon that person's income tax return and other information supplied by the claimant.

(b) No income tax return. When the claimant does not present federal income tax return(s), the assessor must determine what constitutes the gross income and the adjusted gross income of the nonfiler and obtain copies of income documents to determine that person's income amounts. This rule provides the assessor with some guidance in determining the adjusted gross income for a nonfiler.

(c) Verifying the adjusted gross income amount. In some cases, the assessor may choose to verify income amount(s). The rule provides the assessor some guidance in verifying all or part of the adjusted gross income for the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or any of the cotenants.

(2) Adjusted gross income. Internal Revenue Code section 62 defines "adjusted gross income" as gross income minus the following deductions:

(a) Trade and business deductions. Business owners may deduct from gross income trade or business expenses. If the claimant submits a copy of a Form 1040 federal income tax return, these deductions will be taken on the Schedule C, the Schedule C-EZ, or, for a farm, the Schedule F. If the business owned is a partnership, limited partnership, S Corporation, or Limited Liability Company (LLC), the deduction is taken on the return submitted by the partnership, limited partnership, S Corporation, or LLC (Tax Return Forms 1065 and 1120S) and passed through to the individual on a Schedule K-1. A claimant or cotenant that does not file a federal income tax return, but claims to have trade or business deductions should provide documentation of income and expenses from the business to allow the assessor to determine the amount of trade or business expenses to be deducted.

(b) Unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred by an elementary or secondary school teacher for educational materials and equipment, an employee who is a qualified performing artist, or a state or local government official paid on a fee basis. From 2002 until 2010, an elementary or secondary school teacher may deduct from gross income up to two hundred fifty dollars of unreimbursed amounts that the teacher pays for educational materials and equipment used in the teacher's classroom. A teacher may take this deduction on a Form 1040 or a 1040A. A qualified performing artist, defined by Internal Revenue Code section 62(b), or a state or local government official paid on a fee basis may deduct from gross income any unreimbursed trade or business expenses incurred for that employer as an employee. If the claimant submits a copy of a Form 1040 federal income tax return, the deduction will be taken on the dotted line before the final line for determining adjusted gross income with a designation of "QPA" or "FBO." A claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return, but claims to have unreimbursed expenses for this deduction, should provide documentation to demonstrate his or her status as an elementary or secondary school teacher, a qualified performing artist, or a government employee paid on a fee basis and documentation of the unreimbursed educational materials and equipment or trade or business amounts spent as an employee for his or her employer.

(c) Losses from sale or exchange of property. A property owner may deduct from gross income losses from the sale or exchange of property for federal income tax purposes. If the claimant submits a copy of a Form 1040 federal income tax return, the deduction is generally determined on a Schedule D. For purposes of this program, losses cannot be deducted from income. Any losses taken must be added onto adjusted gross income. An assessor may refuse documentation of losses from a claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return as these losses do not result in any change to the claimant's final combined disposable income.

(d) Deductions attributable to rents and royalties. A property owner may deduct from gross income expenses attributable to property held for the production of rents and royalties. If the claimant submits a copy of a Form 1040 federal income tax return, the deductions are determined on a Schedule E. A claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return, but claims to have expenses from rental property or licensed property, should provide documentation of these expenses.

(e) Certain deductions of life tenants and income beneficiaries of property. A life tenant or income beneficiary of a trust or estate may deduct from gross income for federal income tax purposes depreciation or depletion expenses related to the business or rental property in which he or she has a life estate or when the property is owned by a trust or estate, if he or she has a beneficial interest in the property. If the claimant submits a copy of a Form 1040 federal income tax return, these deductions are shown on Schedule E. A claimant or cotenant with a beneficial interest in business property owned by a trust or estate would show the depreciation or depletion deduction on the Schedule K-1 from that trust or estate. An assessor may refuse documentation of depreciation or depletion on property from a claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return as these expenses do not result in any change to the claimant's final combined disposable income.

(f) Pension, profit-sharing, annuity, and annuity plans of self-employed individuals. A self-employed person may deduct from gross income contributions to a SEP, SIMPLE, or other qualified plan. These deductions are claimed on the Form 1040 federal income tax return. A self-employed claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return, but claims this deduction, should provide documentation of the contributions made to a qualified plan by his or her business.

(g) Self-employed health insurance deduction. As part of his or her trade and business expenses, a self-employed person may deduct from gross income part (and after 2002, all) of the business's payments for his or her health insurance. This deduction is claimed on the Form 1040 federal income tax return. A self-employed claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return, but claims this deduction, should provide documentation of the payments made for his or her health insurance by his or her business. The assessor may request the claimant to submit a copy of the deduction worksheet provided in the instructions for Form 1040 to calculate this deduction whether or not the self-employed person filed a tax return.

(h) One-half of self-employment tax. As part of his or her trade or business expenses, a self-employed person may deduct from gross income one-half of the self-employment tax paid to the federal government determined on a Schedule SE. This deduction is claimed on the Form 1040 federal income tax return. A self-employed person that has not filed a return, may not claim this deduction as the self-employment tax is reported and paid with that return.

(i) Retirement savings. A person may deduct from gross income qualifying contributions (up to three thousand five hundred dollars) made to an individual retirement account (IRA). This deduction may be claimed on either the Form 1040 or Form 1040A federal income tax return. A claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return, but claims to have made qualifying contributions to an IRA, should provide documentation of these contributions. The assessor may request the claimant to submit a copy of the IRA deduction worksheet provided in the instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040A to calculate this deduction whether or not the person filed a tax return.

(j) Penalties on early withdrawal of savings. A person may deduct from gross income for purposes of federal income tax penalties paid because of an early withdrawal of savings. This deduction is claimed on the Form 1040 federal income tax return. The IRS classifies these penalties as losses. For purposes of this program, losses may not be deducted from income. Any deduction taken on this line must be added to adjusted gross income. An assessor may refuse documentation about these penalties from a claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return as these losses do not result in any change to the claimant's final combined disposable income.

(k) Alimony. A person may deduct from gross income alimony paid in cash to a previous spouse. This deduction is claimed on the Form 1040 federal income tax return. A person that does not file a tax return, but made alimony payments, should provide copies of documentation showing alimony payments were made in cash to a prior spouse. The documents should include a copy of the divorce or separation instrument providing for the alimony payments and the amount of the alimony payments made during the year.

(l) Reforestation costs. A landowner may deduct from gross income for purposes of federal income tax the amortized reforestation costs for qualified timber property over a period of eighty-four months. If the property is held as business property, the deduction will appear with the trade and business expenses. If the property is not held as business property and the claimant submits a copy of a Form 1040 federal income tax return, this deduction is claimed on the dotted line before the final line for determining adjusted gross income on the Form 1040 federal income tax return and identified as "RFST." An assessor may refuse documentation of the amortization of reforestation costs from a claimant or cotenant that does not file a tax return as these amortized costs are depreciation expenses. These expenses would be added onto adjusted gross income for purposes of this program and do not result in any change to the claimant's final combined disposable income.

(m) Required repayment of supplemental unemployment compensation. A person may deduct from gross income required repayments of supplemental unemployment compensation benefits. If the claimant submits a Form 1040 federal income tax return, the deduction may show on the return in one of two ways. If the repayment is made in the same year the benefits are received, the taxpayer reduces the total unemployment compensation reported on the return by the amount of repayment. If the repayment is made in a later year, the taxpayer deducts the repayment on the dotted line before the final line for determining adjusted gross income on the return and identifies it as "Sub-Pay TRA." A person that does not file a tax return, but claims to have repaid supplemental unemployment compensation, should provide documentation of these repayments.

(n) Jury duty pay given to employer. An employee may deduct from gross income jury duty pay given to his or her employer. An employee deducts the jury pay given to the employer on the dotted line before the final line for determining adjusted gross income on the Form 1040 federal income tax return and identifies it as "Jury Pay." A person that does not file a tax return, but claims to have given jury pay received during the year to their employer, should provide documentation of the amount of jury pay given over to the employer.

(o) Clean-fuel vehicles and certain refueling property. A person may deduct from gross income a portion of the cost for a qualified clean-fuel vehicle and certain refueling property until the end of calendar year 2004. This deduction may show on the Form 1040 federal income tax return in one of two ways. If the property is held as business property, the deduction will appear with the trade and business expenses. If a clean-fuel vehicle is not held as business property, or is claimed by an employee who used it in whole or part for business, this deduction is claimed on the dotted line before the final line for determining adjusted gross income on the return and identified as "Clean Fuel." A purchaser that does not file a tax return, but purchased clean-fuel property, should provide documentation about the qualifying clean-fuel vehicle or the refueling property, the amount paid for the clean-fuel property, and a calculation of the deduction amount allowed.

(p) Unreimbursed moving expenses. If the claimant or cotenant had to move a significant distance for a job or business, he or she may deduct from gross income the unreimbursed moving costs. This deduction is claimed on the Form 1040 federal income tax return. If the claimant or cotenant does not file a tax return, the claimant should provide documentation of the distance moved, the reason for the move, and the moving expenses. The assessor may ask the claimant to submit a copy of Form 3903, Moving Expenses, and the distance test worksheet on that form to prove the amount of his or her adjusted gross income whether or not the claimant or cotenant filed a federal income tax return.

(q) Archer MSAs (medical savings accounts). A person may deduct from gross income a qualifying contribution to an Archer MSA. An MSA is an account set up exclusively for paying the qualified medical expenses of the account holder or the account holder's spouse or dependent(s) in conjunction with a high deductible health plan (HDHP). To be eligible for an MSA, the person must work as an employee for a small employer or be self-employed. The person must also have an HDHP, and have no other health insurance coverage except permitted coverage. The calculation of the deduction is performed on a Form 8853. This deduction is claimed on the Form 1040 federal income tax return. If the person does not file a tax return, but claims to have made a qualifying contribution to an Archer MSA, the claimant should provide copies of documentation as to that person's qualifications for the deduction and how the deduction was calculated. If this deduction is claimed, the assessor may ask the claimant to submit a copy of Form 8853, Archer MSAs and Long Term Care Insurance Contracts, whether or not the claimant or cotenant filed a federal income tax return.

(r) Interest on student loans. A person may deduct from gross income some or all student loan interest paid on his or her student loan(s) during the first sixty months of the loan repayment period. The deduction may not be claimed by a taxpayer claimed as a dependent, a taxpayer filing as married filing separately, or when the taxpayer has an adjusted gross income amount over fifty-five thousand dollars (seventy-five thousand dollars if married filing jointly). This deduction is claimed on either the Form 1040 or Form 1040A federal income tax return. A person that does not file a tax return, but claims to have paid student loan interest, should provide copies of documentation of that person's qualification for the deduction and how the deduction was calculated. For 2002 and after, a person may deduct some or all of this student loan interest (not over two thousand five hundred dollars) repaid for any repayment period (the sixty-month limit is gone), provided the taxpayer does not have adjusted gross income above sixty-five thousand dollars (one hundred thirty thousand dollars if married filing jointly). The two thousand five hundred dollar limit on the interest gets reduced for taxpayers with adjusted gross income over fifty thousand dollars (one hundred thousand dollars if married filing jointly). See Internal Revenue Code section 221.

(s) Higher education expenses. From 2002 to 2005, an individual with adjusted gross income below a set amount (generally sixty-five thousand dollars) may take a deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses paid by that person for that person, that person's spouse, or a dependent of that person. Depending on the individual's gross income, the deduction cannot exceed three thousand dollars (four thousand dollars in 2004 and 2005). The deduction is claimed on either the Form 1040 or Form 1040A federal income tax return. A person that does not file a tax return, but claims to have paid higher education expenses, should provide copies of documentation of that person's qualification for the deduction and how the deduction was calculated. This deduction may only be taken if the income was not excluded from gross income. See WAC 458-16A-110 (savings bonds, qualified state tuition programs, and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts).

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NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-120   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Determining combined disposable income.   (1) Introduction. This rule describes how an assessor determines a claimant's combined disposable income.

(2) Begin by calculating disposable income. The assessor must determine the disposable income of the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and all cotenants. The assessor begins by obtaining a copy of the claimant's, the claimant's spouse's, and any cotenant's federal income tax return. If the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or a cotenant does not provide a federal income tax return, the assessor must calculate disposable income from copies of other income documents (e.g., W-2, 1099-R, 1099-INT, etc.). The assessor may want to review the definitions of gross income, WAC 458-16A-110, and adjusted gross income, WAC 458-16A-115, to help calculate the combined disposable income for a claimant. These rules provide some guidance on how to determine adjusted gross income without copies of a federal income tax return. On the federal income tax return, the adjusted gross income is found on the front pages of Form 1040, Form 1040A, and Form 1040EZ. Even when a return is provided, an assessor may request copies of supporting documents to verify the amount of the claimant's combined disposable income.

(a) Absent spouse. When a spouse has been absent for over a year and the claimant has no knowledge of his/her spouse's whereabouts or whether the spouse has any income or not, and the claimant has not received anything of value from the spouse or anyone acting upon the spouse's behalf, the spouse's disposable income is deemed to be zero for purposes of this exemption. The claimant must submit with the application a dated statement signed by the applicant under the penalty of perjury. This statement must state that more than one year prior to filing this application:

(i) The claimant's spouse has been absent;

(ii) The claimant has not and does not know the whereabouts of the claimant's spouse;

(iii) The claimant has not had any communication with the claimant's spouse;

(iv) The claimant has not received anything of value from the claimant's spouse or anyone acting upon the claimant's spouse's behalf.

The statement must also agree to provide this income information if the claimant is able to obtain it anytime in the next four years.

(b) Form 1040EZ. Generally, the adjusted gross income on Form 1040EZ represents the disposable income for the person or couple filing the return. However, that person's or couple's adjusted gross income as shown on the Form 1040EZ must be increased by the following amounts that are excluded from their adjusted gross income.

(i) Gain from a sold residence. Under certain circumstances, gain from a sold residence is added onto the seller's adjusted gross income. Since there is no federal form used for reporting the exclusion of capital gains from the sale of a principal residence, the exemption application asks if a home has been sold, whether the sale proceeds were reinvested in new principal residence, and the amount of capital gain from the sale.

(A) If the proceeds were reinvested in a new principal residence, the excluded capital gain reinvested in the new residence is ignored. The adjusted gross income on Form 1040EZ is not adjusted for any part of the excluded capital gain reinvested in the new residence.

(B) If the proceeds were not reinvested in a new principal residence or only a part of the proceeds were reinvested in a new principal residence, the amount of excluded capital gain that is not reinvested in a new principal residence is added onto the seller's adjusted gross income to determine the seller's disposable income. The assessor may accept the excluded capital gain amount claimed upon the application or request a copy of documents demonstrating the seller's basis in the property and the capital gain earned upon the sale.

(ii) Interest received on state and municipal bonds. Interest received on state or local government bonds is generally not subject to federal income tax. This tax exempt interest is marked "TEI" and reported on the Form 1040EZ. The tax-exempt interest is added onto the bond owner's federal adjusted gross income to determine the bond owner's disposable income.

(A) The assessor may ask a claimant whether the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or any cotenant's own state or local government bonds. If the return does not show the tax exempt amount from the bond, the assessor may ask to see a copy of the Form 1099-INT (Interest Income).

(B) If the claimant does not have this form, the bond issuer should be able to tell the owner whether the interest is taxable. The issuer should also give the owner a periodic (or year-end) statement showing the tax treatment of the bond. If the income recipient invested in the bond through a trust, a fund, or other organization, that organization should give the recipient this information.

(iii) Excluded military pay and benefits. Military pay and benefits excluded from federal adjusted gross income, other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments, are added onto the adjusted gross income of the military personnel receiving the excluded military pay or benefits to determine that person's disposable income. Excluded military pay and benefits are discussed in more detail below in paragraph (c)(vii).

(iv) Veterans benefits. Veterans benefits, other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments, are added onto the veteran's adjusted gross income to determine the veteran's disposable income. Veterans benefits are discussed in more detail below in paragraph (c)(viii).

(c) Form 1040A. If a claimant provides a copy of a Form 1040A, the assessor calculates the disposable income for the person or couple filing the return by adding onto the adjusted gross income reported the items described below to the extent these items were excluded or deducted from gross income:

(i) Gain from a sold residence. The excluded capital gain from selling a principal residence to the extent that excluded gain was not reinvested in a new principal residence is added onto the seller's adjusted gross income to determine the seller's disposable income. The amount is reported on the exemption application. Refer to paragraph (a)(i) above for a more complete discussion of excluded capital gain upon a sold residence.

(ii) Interest received on state and municipal bonds. Interest received on state or local government bonds is generally not subject to federal income tax. The tax-exempt interest reported on Form 1040A is added back onto the bond owner's adjusted gross income to determine the bond owner's disposable income. Refer to paragraph (a)(ii) above for a more complete discussion of tax-exempt interest on state and municipal bonds.

(iii) Pension and annuity receipts. Any nontaxable pension and annuity amounts are added onto the recipient's adjusted gross income amount to determine the recipient's disposable income. The nontaxable pension and annuity amounts are the difference in the total pension and annuity amounts reported from the taxable amounts reported. If the total amount of the pension and annuity amounts are not reported on the return, the assessor may use a copy of the claimant's, the claimant's spouse's, or the cotenant's Form 1099-R (Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.) to determine the total amount of pension and annuity amounts received. Pension and annuity amounts do not include distributions made from a traditional individual retirement account; and

(iv) Federal Social Security Act and railroad retirement benefits. Any nontaxable Social Security benefit or equivalent railroad retirement amount reported on Form 1040A is added onto the adjusted gross income of the person receiving these benefits to determine that person's disposable income. The nontaxable Social Security benefit or equivalent railroad retirement amount is the difference in the total Social Security benefits or equivalent railroad retirement amounts reported from the taxable amount reported. If the total amount of the Social Security benefit or equivalent railroad retirement amount is not reported on the return, the assessor may use a copy of the claimant's, the claimant's spouse's, or the cotenant's Form SSA-1099 to determine the Social Security benefits or Form RRB-1099 to determine the railroad retirement benefits received.

(v) Excluded military pay and benefits. Military pay and benefits excluded from federal adjusted gross income, other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments, are added onto adjusted gross income of the military personnel receiving the excluded military pay or benefits to determine that person's disposable income. Excluded military pay and benefits are discussed below in paragraph (c)(vii).

(vi) Veterans benefits. Veterans benefits, other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments, are added back onto the veteran's adjusted gross income to determine the veteran's disposable income. Veterans benefits are discussed below in paragraph (c)(viii).

(d) Form 1040. If a claimant provides a copy of a Form 1040, the assessor calculates the disposable income for the person or couple filing the return by adding onto the reported adjusted gross income all the items described below to the extent these items were excluded or deducted from gross income:

(i) Gain from a sold residence. The excluded capital gain from selling a principal residence to the extent that excluded gain was not reinvested in a new principal residence is added onto the seller's adjusted gross income to determine the seller's disposable income. The excluded capital gain amount is reported on the exemption application.

(ii) Capital gains. If the return shows capital gains or losses, the assessor examines a copy of the following schedule or forms, if any, that were filed with the return. The assessor should examine the capital gains reported on Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses) and on Forms 4684 (Casualty and Thefts), 4797 (Sales of Business Property), and 8829 (Business Use of Home).

The assessor adds onto the adjusted gross income any amount of capital gains reduced by losses or deductions on the schedules or forms listed above to determine the total capital gains. The amount of capital gains that were excluded or deducted from adjusted gross income must be added onto that adjusted gross income to determine disposable income.

(iii) Losses. Amounts deducted for loss are added onto the adjusted gross income to determine the disposable income. Most losses are reported on the return in parentheses to reflect that these loss amounts are to be deducted. The net losses are reported on Form 1040 as business losses, as capital losses, as other losses, as rental or partnership-type losses, and as farm losses. Add these amounts in parentheses onto the adjusted gross income. In addition, the assessor adds to adjusted gross income the amount reported as a penalty on early withdrawal of savings because the amount represents a loss under section 62 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(A) The taxpayer only reports the net amount of losses on the front page of the Form 1040 federal income tax return. A loss may be used on other schedules or forms to reduce income before being transferred to the front page of the return to calculate adjusted gross income. The assessor adds onto the adjusted gross income the amount of losses used to reduce income on these other schedules and forms. If the assessor has already added capital gains reduced by losses, the assessor does not add this amount onto adjusted gross income as it has already been accounted for. The amount of losses that were used to reduce adjusted gross income must be added onto that adjusted gross income to determine disposable income. For example, the claimant reports on the front page of the 1040 a capital loss of (five thousand dollars). The assessor examines the Schedule D. On the Schedule D, the claimant reports two thousand dollars in long-term capital gains from the sale of Company X stock and seven thousand dollars in long-term capital losses from the sale of an interest in the Y limited partnership. The assessor has already reduced the claimant's adjusted gross income by five thousand dollars from the capital loss reported on the front page of the return. The assessor would add onto adjusted gross income only the additional two thousand dollars in losses from this Schedule D that was used to offset the capital gain the claimant earned from the sale of Company X stock.

(B) The assessor should examine losses reported on Schedules C (Profit or Loss from Business), D (Capital Gains and Losses), E (Supplemental Income and Loss), F (Profit or Loss from Farming), and K-1 (Shareholder's Share of Income, Credits, Deductions, etc.), and on Forms 4684 (Casualty and Thefts), 4797 (Sales of Business Property), 8582 (Passive Activity Loss Limitations), and 8829 (Business Use of Home) to determine the total amount of losses claimed.

(iv) Depreciation. Amounts deducted for the depreciation, depletion, or amortization of an asset's costs are added onto the adjusted gross income to determine the disposable income. This includes section 179 expenses, as an expense in lieu of depreciation. Amounts deducted for depreciation, depletion, amortization, and 179 expenses may be found on Schedules C, C-EZ, E, F, K and K-1, and on Form 4835 (Farm Rental Income and Expenses). If the schedule or form results in a loss transferred to the front of the Form 1040 federal income tax return, the depreciation deduction to the extent it is represented in that loss amount should not be added onto the adjusted gross income (as this would result in it being added back twice);

(v) Pension and annuity receipts. Any nontaxable pension and annuity amounts are added onto the recipient's adjusted gross income amount to determine the recipient's disposable income. The nontaxable pension and annuity amounts are the difference in the total pension and annuity amounts reported from the taxable amount reported. If the total amount of the pension and annuity amounts are not reported on the return, the assessor may use a copy of the claimant's, the claimant's spouse's, or the cotenant's Form 1099-R (Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.) to determine the total amount of pension and annuity amounts received. Pension and annuity amounts do not include distributions made from a traditional individual retirement account.

(vi) Federal Social Security Act and railroad retirement benefits. Any nontaxable Social Security benefit or equivalent railroad retirement amount reported on the Form 1040 federal income tax return is added onto the adjusted gross income of the person receiving these benefits to determine that person's disposable income. The nontaxable Social Security benefit or equivalent railroad retirement amount is the difference in the total Social Security benefits or equivalent railroad retirement amounts reported from the taxable amount reported. If the total amount of the Social Security benefit or equivalent railroad retirement amount is not reported on the return, the assessor may use a copy of the claimant's, the claimant's spouse's, or the cotenant's Form SSA-1099 to determine the Social Security benefits or Form RRB-1099 to determine the railroad retirement benefits received.

(vii) Excluded military pay and benefits. Military pay and benefits excluded from federal adjusted gross income, other than pay or benefits for attendant care or medical aid, are added onto the adjusted gross income of the military personnel receiving the military pay or benefits to determine that person's disposable income. Excluded military pay and benefits are not reported on the Form 1040. Excluded military pay and benefits such as pay earned in a combat zone, basic allowance for subsistence (BAS), basic allowance for housing (BAH), and certain in-kind allowances, are reported in box 12 of the Form W-2. The claimant should disclose when excluded military pay and benefits were received and provide copies of the Form W-2 or other documents that verify the amounts received.

(viii) Veterans benefits. Veterans benefits, other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments, are added onto the veteran's adjusted gross income to determine the veteran's disposable income. Federal law excludes from gross income any veterans benefits payments, paid under any law, regulation, or administrative practice administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Except for payments by the VA made for attendant care or medical aid, allowances or payments made from the VA must be added onto the veteran's adjusted gross income. VA benefits are not reported on the Form 1040. The claimant should disclose when excluded veterans benefits were received and provide copies of documents that verify the amount received. Attendant-care and medical-aid payments are any payments for medical care, home health care, health insurance coverage, hospital benefits, or nursing home benefits provided by the VA. Disability compensation or pensions paid by the VA are not attendant-care or medical-aid payments;

(ix) Dividend receipts. Exempt-interest dividends received from a regulated investment company (mutual fund) are reported on the tax-exempt interest line of the Form 1040 and added onto the recipient's adjusted gross income to determine that recipient's disposable income.

(A) The assessor may ask a claimant whether the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or any cotenants have received exempt-interest dividends.

(B) Generally, the mutual fund owner will receive a notice from the mutual fund telling him or her the amount of the exempt-interest dividends received. These exempt-interest dividends are not shown on Form 1099-DIV or Form 1099-INT. Although exempt-interest dividends are not taxable, the owner must report them on the Form 1040 tax return if he or she has to file; and

(x) Interest received on state and municipal bonds. Interest received on state or local government bonds is generally not subject to federal income tax. This tax-exempt interest is reported on the Form 1040 and added onto the bond owner's adjusted gross income to determine the bond owner's disposable income.

(3) Calculate the combined disposable income. When the assessor has calculated the disposable income for the claimant, the claimant's spouse, and any cotenants, the assessor combines the disposable income of these people together. The assessor reduces this combined income by the amount paid by the claimant or the claimant's spouse during that calendar year for their legally prescribed drugs, home health care, and nursing home care to calculate the claimant's combined disposable income.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-130   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Qualifications for exemption.   (1) Introduction. This rule describes the qualifications a claimant must meet for the senior citizen or disabled person property tax exemption. In order to qualify for the exemption, the claimant:

(a) Must meet age or disability requirements;

(b) Must have a combined disposable income of thirty thousand dollars or less; and

(c) Must own the property and occupy it as his or her principal residence.

(2) Age, retirement, and disability requirements. In order to qualify for the exemption:

(a) The senior citizen claiming the exemption must be age sixty-one or older on December 31st of the year in which the claim is filed. No proof is required concerning a senior citizen's employment status to claim the exemption.

(b) The disabled person claiming the exemption must be at the time of filing retired from regular gainful employment because of his or her physical disability (i.e., unable to work because of a physical or mental impairment). A disabled person is considered retired, although he or she was not working at a job, if he or she is unable to enter into regular gainful employment because of his or her physical disability and does not have a guardian or other person legally required to financially support and care for him or her; or

(c) The surviving spouse of a claimant, who applies to continue their spouse's exemption, must be age fifty-seven or older in the calendar year the claimant dies.

(3) Income requirements. In order to qualify for the exemption, the claimant's combined disposable income, as defined in RCW 84.36.383 and WAC 458-16A-120, must be below the statutory limit amount provided in RCW 84.36.381.

(4) Principal residence requirements. In order to qualify for the exemption, the claimant must own the property and occupy it as his or her principal residence. The claimant must occupy the principal residence at the time of filing for each year the exemption is claimed. See WAC 458-16A-100 (definitions of principal residence and residence), and WAC 458-16A-135 (supporting documents required to demonstrate the property is owned and occupied as a claimant's principal residence).

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NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-135   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Application procedures.   (1) Introduction. This rule explains when and how a senior citizen or disabled person may apply for a property tax exemption on that person's principal residence. RCW 84.36.381 through 84.36.389.

(2) When to apply for the exemption. A claimant may first apply for the exemption in the calendar year that he or she meets the age or disability requirements for exemption of taxes due in the following year. If the claimant does not apply when he or she meets the age or disability requirements, then he or she may apply for the exemption in any subsequent year. The exemption may be claimed on his or her principal residence for previous years by applying with separate applications for each year. However, refunds based upon an exemption made in previous years may be refunded only for up to three years after the taxes were paid as provided in chapter 84.69 RCW.

(3) Application required. A claimant must submit to the county assessor's office an application for exemption with supporting documents. If the claimant applies for more than one year when the application is first made, an application must be made for each year the claimant seeks the exemption.

(4) Where to obtain the application form. A claimant may obtain the application form and the list of required supporting documents from the county assessor's office where his or her principal residence is located.

(5) How to apply for the exemption. Applications and supporting documents are filed in person or by mail at the county assessor's office where the principal residence is located.

(a) The application form. The county assessor designs the application form or adapts a master form obtained from the department. The county must obtain approval of the final form from the department before it may be distributed and used. The claimant must use an application form from the county where the principal residence is located and provide true and accurate information in the application.

(b) Signatures. The signature must certify that under penalty of perjury under the laws of Washington the application is true and correct. The application must be signed, dated, and state the place (city, county, or address) where it was signed. The application must be signed by:

(i) The claimant;

(ii) The claimant's designated agent;

(iii) The legal guardian for the claimant (if applicable); or

(iv) If the property is subject to a deed of trust, mortgage, or purchase contract requiring an accumulation of reserves to pay property taxes, the lien holder; and

(v) If the claimant resides in a cooperative housing unit or portion of a cooperative structure representing the claimant's ownership share in that cooperative, the authorized agent of the cooperative must also sign the application.

(c) Perjury statement. The perjury statement certifying under the penalty of perjury that the application is true and correct must be placed upon the application immediately above a line for the signature. Any person signing a false claim with the intent to defraud or evade the payment of any tax commits perjury. If a person receives an exemption based on erroneous information, the assessor assesses any unpaid taxes with interest for up to three years. If a person receives an exemption based on erroneous information, and the person either provided that information with the intent to defraud or intentionally failed to correct that information, the assessor assesses any unpaid taxes with interest, for up to three years, with the one hundred percent penalty provided in RCW 84.40.130. RCW 84.36.385(5).

(d) Cooperative agreement to reduce rent. A cooperative must also agree, in a statement attached to the application, to reduce amounts owed by the claimant to the cooperative by the amount of the tax exemption. The agreement must also state that when the exemption exceeds the amount owed to the cooperative, the cooperative must pay to the claimant any amount of the tax exemption remaining after this offsetting reduction. RCW 84.36.387(5).

(e) Supporting documents. Unless the assessor determines that all or some of the supporting documents are not necessary, a claimant must present the documents listed below with his or her application. Except for affidavits, the assessor's office should not accept original documents from the claimant. If the assessor's office is presented with original documents (other than affidavits), they must make copies or note the information provided in the documents on a separate sheet and return these original documents to the claimant. The claimant submits the following documents with the application:

(i) If the county records do not reflect the claimant as the property owner, copies of any legal instruments demonstrating the claimant's interest held in the property;

(ii) Documents demonstrating that the property is the claimant's principal residence (i.e., copy of a driver's license and voter's registration card);

(iii) Copies of legal identification showing the claimant's age (i.e., copy of a driver's license or birth certificate);

(iv) If the claim is based upon a physical disability, either:

(A) An affidavit from a licensed physician (medical or osteopath doctor), a licensed or certified psychologist for disabling mental impairments, or a licensed podiatrist for disabling impairments of the foot, that states the claimant is unable to enter into regular gainful employment because of his or her physical disability and the expected term of the disability; or

(B) Copies of a written acknowledgment or decision by the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration that the claimant is permanently physically disabled;

(v) Copies of documents showing income earned or reported by the claimant, the claimant's spouse and any cotenants, even when the income is estimated (income information should be provided to the degree possible and then confirmed with supporting documents in the follow-up period), such proof shall include to the extent it is relevant:

(A) If the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or any cotenants receive Social Security payments, a federal statement showing Social Security paid (generally, Form SSA-1099);

(B) If the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or any cotenants receive railroad retirement benefits, a federal statement showing railroad retirement benefits paid (generally, Forms RRC-1099 and RRC 1099-R);

(C) If the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or any cotenants file federal income tax returns, those returns with supporting forms, schedules, and, if specifically requested, worksheets for the deductions taken from gross income (generally, Form 1040 with its supporting forms and schedules);

(D) If the claimant or the claimant's spouse has been in a nursing home or receiving in-home care, copies of invoices (or an equivalent billing statement or payment statement) for nonreimbursed nursing home and in-home care;

(E) If the claimant indicates that the claimant's and the claimant's spouse's nonreimbursed prescription drugs for the period under review exceeds five hundred dollars, copies of checks or other payment statements (i.e., pharmacy printout of payments for purchases) showing amounts paid for nonreimbursed prescription drug expenses;

(F) If no federal returns were filed or received, the claimant must still provide copies of documents to demonstrate his or her income and the income of his or her spouse and any cotenants (i.e., federal income statements such as Form W-2 (wages), Form 1099-INT (interest), Form 1099-DIV (dividends), Form 1099-R (pension amounts), Form 1099-G (unemployment), or Form 1099-Misc. (contract income)). Even claimants who claim they have no federal income (or an inordinately small amount of federal income) must have income to maintain themselves and their residences. In these situations, the claimant must produce copies of documents demonstrating the source of the funds they are living on (i.e., checking account registers and bank statements) and the bills for maintaining the claimant and the residence (i.e., public assistance check stubs, utility invoices, cable TV invoices, check registers, bank statements, etc.); and

(vi) Any other copies of documents the assessor requires in his or her discretion for the claimant to produce in order to demonstrate the claimant qualifies for the exemption.

(f) Public disclosure of the application. The application form may not be disclosed. A copy of the application may be disclosed only if all income information on the form is obliterated so that it cannot be read. Except as required by law, no public disclosure may be made of the checklist of supporting documents or any supporting documents retained that concern the claimant's, the claimant's spouse's, or any cotenant's income.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-140   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Exemption described -- Exemption granted -- Exemption denied -- Freezing property values.   (1) Introduction. This rule explains how county assessors process a claimant's application form for the senior citizen or disabled person property tax exemption. The rule describes the exemption and what happens when the exemption is granted or denied by the assessor.

(2) The exemption described. This property tax exemption reduces or eliminates property taxes on a senior citizen's or disabled person's principal residence. Except for benefit charges made by a fire protection district, this exemption does not reduce or exempt an owner's payments for special assessments against the property. Local governments impose special assessments on real property because the real property is specially benefitted by improvements made in that area (e.g., local improvement district assessments for roads or curbs, surface water management fees, diking/drainage fees, weed control fees, etc.). All the property owners in that area share in paying for these improvements. The only exception related to this program is for benefit charges made by a fire protection district. Fire protection district benefit charges are reduced twenty-five, fifty, or seventy-five percent depending upon the combined disposable income of the claimant. RCW 52.18.090.

(a) Excess levies. A qualifying claimant receives an exemption from excess levies on his or her principal residence.

(b) Regular levies. Depending upon the claimant's combined disposable income, the exemption may also apply to all or a portion of the regular levies on the claimant's principal residence. Both the level of the claimant's combined disposable income and the assessed value of the home determine the amount of the regular levy exempted from property taxes. The exemption applies to all the regular and excess levies when the assessed value of the claimant's principal residence falls below the amount of exempt assessed value identified in RCW 84.36.381 (5)(b) and the claimant's combined disposable income is also below the levels set in that section.

(c) Property taxes due. Generally the owner pays the property taxes on the principal residence and obtains directly the benefit of this exemption. If the claimant is not the property's owner, or is not otherwise obligated to pay the property taxes on the principal residence, but "owned" the principal residence for purposes of this exemption, the property owner that owes the tax must reduce any amounts owed to them by the claimant up to the amount of the tax exemption. If the amounts owed by the claimant to this property owner are less than the tax exemption, the owner must pay to the claimant in cash any amount of the tax exemption remaining after this offsetting reduction. RCW 84.36.387(6).

(3) Processing exemption applications. County assessors process applications for the senior citizen or disabled person exemption. The assessors grant or deny the exemption based upon these completed applications.

(a) Application review. The county assessor reviews a completed application and its supporting documents.

The assessor:

(i) Notes on a checklist for the claimant's file the supporting documents received;

(ii) Reviews the supporting documents;

(iii) Records relevant information from the supporting documents into the claimant's file. In particular, the assessor records into the file the claimant's age and a summary of the income information received; and

(iv) After reviewing the supporting documents, must either destroy or return the supporting documents used to verify the claimant's age and income.

(b) Incomplete applications. A county assessor may return an incomplete application or a duplicate application. An incomplete application may be missing:

(i) Signatures;

(ii) Information upon the form; or

(iii) Supporting documents.

Upon returning an incomplete application, the assessor should provide the claimant with a dated denial form listing the signatures, information, or documents needed to complete the application. The denial of an incomplete application may be appealed in the same manner as a denial of the exemption.

(c) The assessor may accept any late filings for the exemption even after the taxes have been levied, paid, or become delinquent. An application filed for the exemption in previous years constitutes a claim for a refund under WAC 458-18-210.

(4) Exemption timing if approved. Property taxes are reduced or eliminated on the claimant's principal residence for the year following the year the claimant became eligible for the program. When a late application is filed, the exemption may only result in:

(a) A property tax refund for taxes paid within three years of the payment date; and

(b) Relief from unpaid property taxes for previous years.

(5) Exemption procedure when claim granted. When the exemption is granted, the county assessor:

(a) Freezes the assessed value of the principal residence upon the assessment roll;

(b) Determines the level of exemption the claimant qualifies for;

(c) Notifies the claimant that the exemption has been granted;

(d) Notifies the claimant of his or her duty to file timely renewal applications;

(e) Notifies the claimant of his or her duty to file change of status forms when necessary;

(f) Notifies the claimant of the need to reapply for the exemption if the claimant moves to a replacement residence;

(g) Notifies the claimant that has supplied estimated income information whether or not follow-up income information is needed;

(h) Places the claimant on a notification list for renewal of the exemption;

(i) Places the claimant on a notification list if supporting documents are needed to confirm estimated income information prior to May 31st of the following year;

(j) Exempts the residence from all or part of its property taxes; and

(k) Provides the department with a recomputation of the assessed values for the immediately preceding year as a part of the annual recomputation process.

(6) Exemption procedure when claim denied. The assessor denies the exemption when the claimant does not qualify. The assessor provides a dated denial form listing his or her reasons for this denial. A claimant may appeal the exemption's denial to the county board of equalization as provided for in WAC 458-14-056.

(7) Freezing the property value. The assessor freezes the assessed value of the principal residence either on the latter of January 1, 1995, or January 1st of the year when a claimant first qualifies for the exemption. The assessor then tracks both the market value of the principal residence and its frozen value. The assessor provides both the principal residence's market value and its frozen value in the valuation notices sent to the owner.

(a) Frozen values in counties using a cyclical revaluation plan. In counties using a cyclical revaluation plan, the assessor:

(i) Revalues the principal residence, for property revalued in that assessment year, before the assessed value is frozen; or

(ii) Freezes the principal residence's value at the most recent assessed value for property that is not revalued in that assessment year.

The assessor continues to revalue the principal residence during the regular revaluation cycles to track the market value for the property.

(b) Adding on improvement costs. The assessor adds onto the frozen assessed value the cost of any improvements made to the principal residence.

(c) One-year gaps in qualification. If a claimant receiving the exemption fails to qualify for only one year because of high income, the previous frozen property value must be reinstated on January 1st of the following year when the claimant again qualifies for the program.

(d) Moving to a new residence. If an eligible claimant moves, the county assessor freezes the assessed value of the new principal residence on January 1st of the assessment year in which the claimant transfers the exemption to the replacement residence.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 458-16A-150   Senior citizen and disabled person exemption -- Requirements for keeping the exemption.   (1) Introduction. This rule explains how and when a senior citizen or disabled person must file additional reports with the county assessor to keep the senior citizen or disabled person property tax exemption. The rule also explains what happens when the claimant or the property no longer qualifies for the full exemption.

(2) Continuing the exemption. The claimant must keep the assessor up to date on the claimant's continued qualification for the senior citizen or disabled person property tax exemption. The claimant keeps the assessor up to date in three ways. First, the claimant submits a change in status form when any change affects his or her exemption. In some circumstances, the change in status form may be submitted by an executor, a surviving spouse, or a purchaser to notify the county of a change in status affecting the exemption. Second, the claimant submits a renewal application for the exemption either upon the assessor's request following an amendment of the income requirement, or every four years. Third, the claimant applies to transfer the exemption when moving to a new principal residence.

(3) Change in status. When a claimant's circumstances change in a way that affects his or her qualification for the senior citizen or disabled person property tax exemption, the claimant must submit a completed change in status form to notify the county of this change.

(a) When to submit form. The claimant must submit a change in status form to the county assessor for any change affecting that person's qualification for the exemption within thirty days of such change in status. If the claimant is unable or fails to submit a change in status form, any subsequent property owner, including a claimant's estate or surviving spouse, should submit a change in status form to avoid interest and in some cases the penalty for willfully claiming the exemption based upon erroneous information.

(b) Changes in status described. Changes in status include:

(i) Changes that affect the property (i.e., new construction, boundary line changes, rentals, ownership changes, etc.);

(ii) Changes to the property owner's annual income that increase or decrease property taxes due under the program; or

(iii) Changes that affect the property owner's eligibility for the exemption (i.e., death, moving to a replacement residence, moving to another residence the claimant does not own, moving into a hospice, a nursing home, or any other long-term care facility, marriage, improvement of a physical disability for a disabled person's claim, or a disabled person entering into gainful employment).

(c) Change in status form. The county assessor designs the change in status form or adapts a master form obtained from the department. The county must obtain approval of the final form from the department before it may be distributed. The claimant, the claimant's agent, or a subsequent owner of the residence must use a change in status form from the county where the principal residence is located. The person filing the form must provide true and accurate information on the change in status form.

(d) Obtaining the form. The claimant or subsequent property owner may obtain the form from the county assessor where his or her principal residence is located.

(e) Failure to submit the form after a change in status occurs. If the claimant fails to submit the change in status form, the application information relied upon becomes erroneous for the period following the change in status. Upon discovery of the erroneous information, the assessor determines the status of the exemption, and notifies the county treasurer to collect any unpaid property taxes and interest from the claimant, the claimant's estate, or if the property has been transferred, from the subsequent property owner. The treasurer may collect any unpaid property taxes, interest, and penalties for a period not to exceed three years as provided for under RCW 84.40.380. In addition, if a person willfully fails to submit the form or provides erroneous information, that person is liable for an additional penalty equal to one hundred percent of the unpaid taxes. RCW 84.36.385. If the change in status results in a refund of property taxes, the treasurer may refund property taxes and interest for up to the most recent three years after the taxes were paid as provided in chapter 84.69 RCW.

(f) Loss of the exemption. If the change in status disqualifies the applicant for the exemption, property taxes must be recalculated based upon the current full assessed value of the property and paid from the date the change in status occurred. RCW 84.40.360. For example, the exemption is lost when the claimant dies (unless the spouse is also qualified). The property taxes are recalculated to the full assessed amount of the principal residence on a pro rata basis beginning the day following the date of the claimant's death for the remainder of the year.

(g) Loss of exemption on part of the property. If the change in status removes a portion of the property from the exemption, property taxes in their full amount on that portion of the property that is no longer exempt must be recalculated based upon the current full assessed value of that portion of the property and paid from the date the change in status occurred. For example, a property owner subdivides his or her one-acre lot into two parcels. The parcel that does not have the principal residence built upon it no longer qualifies for the exemption. The property taxes are recalculated to the full assessed amount of that parcel on a pro rata basis for the remainder of the year beginning the day following the date the subdivision was given final approval.

(h) Exemption reduced. If the change in status reduces the exemption amount, the increased property taxes are due in the year following the change in income. For example, a claimant's income rises so that only excess levies on her principal residence are exempt. The claimant's income is based upon the assessment year. The following year when the taxes are collected, the property taxes due are calculated with only an exemption for excess levies.

(4) Renewal application. The county assessor must notify claimants when to file a renewal application with updated supporting documentation.

(a) Notice to renew. Written notice must be sent by the assessor in the year the renewal application is requested. Notice must be sent no later than December 10th, three weeks before the December 31st filing requirement.

(b) When to renew. The assessor must request a renewal application at least once every four years. The assessor may request a renewal application for any year the income requirements are amended in the statute after the exemption is granted. Once notified, the claimant must file the renewal application by December 31st of that year.

(c) Processing renewal applications. Renewal applications are processed in the same manner as the initial application.

(d) The renewal application form. The county assessor may design the renewal application form or adapt either its own application form or the application master form obtained from the department. The county must obtain approval of the final renewal application form from the department before it may be distributed. The property owner must use a renewal form from the county where the principal residence is located. The claimant must provide true and accurate information on the renewal application form.

(e) Obtaining the form. The assessor provides this form to senior citizens or disabled persons claiming the exemption when requesting renewal.

(f) Failure to submit the renewal application. If the property owner fails to submit the renewal application form, the exemption is discontinued until the claimant reapplies for the program. The assessor may postpone collection activities and continue to work with an eligible claimant to complete an application for a missed period.

(5) Transfer of the exemption. When a claimant moves to a replacement residence, the claimant must file a change in status form with the county where his or her former principal residence was located. No claimant may receive an exemption on more than the equivalent of one residence in any year.

(a) Exemption on the former residence. The exemption on the former residence applies to the closing date on the sale of the former residence, provided the claimant lived in the residence for most of the portion of that year prior to the date of closing. Property taxes in their full amount must be recalculated based upon the current full assessed value of the property and paid from the day following the date the sale closed. The taxes are paid for the remaining portion of the year. RCW 84.34.360.

(b) Exemption upon the replacement residence. Upon moving, the claimant must reapply for the exemption in the county where the replacement residence is located if the claimant wants to continue in the exemption program. The same application, supporting documents, and application process is used for the exemption on the replacement residence as when a claimant first applies. See WAC 458-16A-135. The exemption on the replacement residence applies on a pro rata basis in the year he or she moves, but only from the latter of the date the claimant moves into the new principal residence or the day following the date the sale closes on his or her previous residence.

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