What is the Circuit Breaker Property Tax Reduction?
The Property Tax Reduction (Circuit Breaker) program reduces property taxes for qualified applicants. The amount of reduction is based on total household income for the previous calendar year.
If you qualify, the property taxes on your home and up to one acre of land may be reduced by as much as $1,320.
Solid waste, irrigation or other fees charged in some counties cannot be reduced by Property Tax reduction benefits.
You may qualify for property tax reduction in 2021 if you meet the following requirements:
- You owned and lived in a house or mobile home in Idaho that was your primary residence before April 15, 2021. (You may qualify if you lived in a care facility or nursing home. Contact our office for information), and
- Your total income for 2020 was $31,900 or less after deducting:
- Medical expenses not reimbursed by Medicare or other insurance. Total of paid or prepaid funeral expenses, up to $5000.
- Business and farm losses
- Met one or more of the following status requirements as of January 1, 2021:
- Age 65 or older
- Widow(er) of any age
- Fatherless or motherless child under 18 years of age
- Former prisoner of war / hostage
- Veteran with at least 10% service connected disability, or receiving VA pension for a nonservice-connected disability*
- Disabled as recognized by the Social Security Administration, Railroad Retirement Board or Federal Civil Service*
* You should apply if your disability application is being processed or appealed.
How do I apply?
Contact the Nez Perce County Assessor's Office at 208-799-3011, fax us at 208-799-3037, or stop by our office at the Nez Perce County Court House, 1230 Main Street in Lewiston.
Complete an application (only available between January 2 and April 15). If you need help, the assessor's staff will assist you. You must apply for your 2021 property tax reduction between January 2 and April 15, 2020. To receive this benefit, you must apply and qualify each year. It is not renewed automatically.
You must show proof of your eligibility, income, and medical expenses when you file your application.
If your application is approved by Idaho State Tax Commission, your property tax reduction will appear on the tax notice sent to you in November, 2021.
All recipients of the property tax reduction benefit must receive the Homeowner's Exemption, which reduces the taxable value of the land and home by 50% or $100,000 whichever is less.
What documentation is required?
You must provide the Assessor's Office with the following documents to show your income and expenses. (Bring original documents or copies if you apply in person; send copies if you mail your application.) IF YOU FILE A TAX RETURN, PROVIDE:
- Federal income tax return
- Proof of medical expenses:
- Provide a copy of federal Schedule A, if you file it with your tax return.
- If you do not file federal Schedule A, provide the following:
- Prescription drug records from your pharmacy;
- Receipts for other medical expenses you paid in 2020 that were not reimbursed by Medicare or other insurance.
- Social Security/Railroad Retirement 1099 forms
- Any other documents showing income not reported on your tax return.
IF YOU DO NOT FILE A TAX RETURN, PROVIDE:
- All of the above that apply to you;
- All 1099 forms you received;
- All nontaxable income;
- Proof of expenses to be deducted from business or rental property income;
IN ANY CASE:
- If disabled, provide certification of disability from VA, Social Security, Railroad or Federal Civil Service (or show proof that your claim is being processed or appealed);
- If blind, provide certification from your doctor.
What are the income guidelines?
When you complete your application, you must include income reported to you and your spouse in 2020.
You must include:
- Interest (including bank, escrow, inheritance, etc., even if nontaxable)
- Business, farm and rental profits
- All other IRS reportable income
- Social Security, SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- Railroad Retirement
- Unemployment/workers compensation
- Pensions and annuities (except qualified rollovers)
- Military retirement benefits
- VA pensions and compensation if you have a service-connected disability of 10% to 30% or have a non-service-connected disability
- Department of Health and Welfare payments (Aid for Dependent Children and housing assistance)
- Child support/alimony
- Strike benefit
- "Loss of earnings" insurance payments
- Disability income from any source
- Payments from an IRA
- Gambling winnings
You may deduct the following 2020 expenses from your 2020 household income:
- Medical / dental and related expenses (including eyeglasses and prescription drugs) not reimbursed by insurance*
- Medical insurance premiums
- Paid or prepaid funeral expenses.
*Defined in section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code
You may deduct the following items from your 2020 household income if you did not file a federal tax return:
- Farm/rental/business losses, and other losses (You must submit a copy of the appropriate federal schedule.)
- Early withdrawal penalties
- Alimony paid
- Some IRA contributions
- One-half of self-employment tax
(Note: The above deductions apply to any household member whose income must be reported on your Property Tax Reduction Application).
If any of the following conditions exist, you may not have to report all of your income:
- You and your spouse were divorced or newly married in 2020;
Do not report the following income received in 2020:
- Inheritance (except income on the inheritance)
- Gifts from friends and family
- Grocery Credit Refund (Form 24)
- Medicare taken out of Social Security
- One-time lump sum insurance benefits (life, etc.)
- Food stamps
- Fuel/energy assistance
- The return of principal paid by the recipient of an annuity and excluding rollovers as provided in section 402 and 403 of the Internal Revenue Code
- VA compensation received by a veteran for a 40% to 100% service-connected disability & DIC
Can I download the Circuit Breaker Application online?
Please contact the Assessor's Office for our current Circuit Breaker Application and Medical Expense Statement. There is also an informational guide at Property Tax Reduction Program on the Idaho Tax Commission's website. The guide will help you in determining your eligibility -- and preparing documentation -- for the Circuit Breaker property tax reduction.