The Home Heating Credit Developed 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.
Determine if your annual household income falls within the qualifying limits. These are outlined on the Michigan Gas Utilities Home Heating Credit income table (see Resources). 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 2010 a household of three with an annual income of less than $20,158 in 2009 qualifies for the home heating credit.
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.
Complete the Michigan Home Heating Credit Claim form using your federal income tax return from the previous year. For example, when applying for the 2010 home heating credit use your 2009 federal tax return for information. The 2009 federal tax return provides information for lines 1 through 8 as well as for lines 10 through 30 on the Michigan Home Heating Credit Claim form. (Ref 3)
Add the amount of your heating bills from the previous November through October of the past year. Insert the total amount on line 9 of the Michigan Home Heating Credit Claim form. As an example, when filing for the 2010 home heating credit, add the add the amount of your heat bills from November 2008 through October 2009.
Determine your standard heating allowance credit. Turn to page 15 of the claim book to find 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 32 of the home heating credit claim form.
Enter the figure from line 35, if applicable, or the figure from lines 34 or 39 -- whichever is greater -- on line 40 of the credit claim form. Line 35 will have a figure only if your heat is paid as part of your monthly rent.
Multiply the figure on line 40 by 0.65, or 65 percent. Enter this number on line 41. This is the total amount of your credit. For example, if the figure on line 40 is $1,000, multiply $1,000 by .65 and the total amount of your credit is $650.
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.
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 2009, for example, the form must have been submitted by September 30, 2010.
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