Michigan residents meeting income guidelines may be eligible for the Home Heating Credit (HHC). The average 2009 credit totaled $174. The deadline for HHC filing is September 30 for the previous tax year. Use form MI-1040CR-7 to e-file for the HHC or file by mail. Forms are located online or at any IRS tax form location. One caveat: filing a tax extension does not extend the HHC deadline. You can file for the HHC without filing your 2010 tax form.
Residents must know what their household income is in order to see whether it falls under the limits set by the State of Michigan. Your permanent residence must be your homestead and you must be the owner or renter occupying the homestead. You cannot be a dependent on another person's tax return, even if you are a full-time student. If you lived in an adult foster care home, nursing or licensed home for the elderly or lived in a substance abuse treatment center for the entire tax year, you are not HHC eligible.
Income thresholds may vary from tax year to tax year. The 2010 maximum income guidelines per number of exemptions taken on your tax form were: $11,929 for one exemption; $16,043 for two exemptions; $20,158 for three exemptions; $24,272 for four exemptions; $28,387 for five exemptions and $32,500 for six exemptions. Any claimed exemption over six, add $4,114 to $32,500. There may be other exemptions that qualify you, such as age 65-plus, disability, blindness and deafness.
Exceptions to HHC Eligibility
Michigan residents over age 65 are eligible regardless of income, but need to meet eligibility guidelines. Special situations include shared housing, partial year Michigan residency, claiming the credit on behalf of a deceased resident or disability. If you've received Family Independence Assistance or State Disability Assistance, you also may be eligible to receive the credit.
Finding the M-1040CR-7
If you filed for the Home Heating Credit last year and didn't use a tax software package to do so, you will automatically be mailed an instruction booklet. You can call 517-636-4486 to get the HHC form and the instructions mailed to you. They are also available at any Michigan Treasury or Secretary of State branch office, public libraries, northern Michigan post offices and Human Services department branches.
Cheryl Hosmer teaches online courses in writing and community journalism. She has written for various newspapers since 1983. She teamed up with author Marshall Terrill in 2001 as an editor of celebrity biographies. Hosmer holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from Madonna University. Her educational emphasis was poverty studies and journalism.