The Home Heating Credit was developed to assist low-income Michigan families with the expense of home heating. The program is funded through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Michigan Department of Human Services manages the program, while the Michigan Department of Treasury handles the claims process and makes payments.
Determining Your Income Eligibility
Guidelines for eligible annual household income are outlined on the Michigan Gas Utilities Home Heating Credit income table (see Resources). You'll find these guidelines in Tables A and B on page 19 in this document. If your annual income for the preceding year was less than the qualifying limit, based on dependents, you qualify for the home heating credit. For example, as of 2018, a household of three with an annual income of less than $22,871 qualifies for the home heating credit.
Obtaining the Claim Form
Download the MI 1040CR-7 Individual Income Tax Home Heating Credit Claim book. This includes the Michigan Home Heating Credit Claim form and provides instructions for filing the home heating credit (see Resources). The book also is available from your utility providers, such as Consumers Energy, Detroit Edison or your local municipality-owned company such as the Lansing Board of Water and Light.
Completing the Form
Complete the Michigan Home Heating Credit Claim form using your federal income tax return from the previous year. For example, when applying for the 2019 home heating credit, use your 2018 federal tax return for information. The claim form is in a step-by-step format, with instructions included for each line item.
Entering Your Heating Costs
Add the amount of your heating bills from the previous November through October of the past year. Insert the total amount on line 11 of the Michigan Home Heating Credit Claim form (page 13). As an example, when filing for the 2019 home heating credit, add the add the amount of your heat bills from November 2017 through October 2018.
Determining Your Heating Allowance Credit
Turn to page 15 of the claim book to figure this. This is based on the number of people living in the home in conjunction with the total income of the household. Enter your standard heating allowance credit on line 35 of the home heating credit claim form.
Take the line 39 alternate credit, according to the form's instructions, by entering the lesser of your line 11 heating costs or $2,741.
Multiply the number on line 34 by 0.11, or 11 percent, and enter this number on line 40. Continue to follow the form instructions until get to line 43. Multiply the number you enter on line 43 by 0.75 (75 percent). This is the total amount of your home heating credit. For example, if the number on line 43 is $1,000, multiply $1,000 by 0.75 to arrive at the total amount of your home heating credit -- $750.
Ensure all information provided on the home heating credit claim form is accurate to expedite processing.
Double-check all figures on the form to make sure errors were not made in calculation.
Credits are typically issued as an energy draft to be used toward current or future heating bills. In some cases, checks are issued to the claimant, but typically only when heat is included in monthly rent payments.
Claim Form Deadline
All Home Heating Credit Claim Forms must be submitted by September 30 the year after the credit is claimed. If filing a credit claim for 2018, for example, the form must have been submitted by September 30, 2019.
Stephanie Steensma began writing in 1998 as a radio news reporter. Her work has appeared in print publications such as "Engineering Today" and "Dome Magazine" as well as online. Steensma has a Bachelor of Arts in communication and journalism from Western Michigan University.