The state of Michigan experiences cold and snowy winters, making home heating a necessity during the months of October through April. Monthly heating bills can easily rise into the hundreds of dollars for most homes, putting a financial strain on many people. Fortunately, these individuals can take advantage of the Home Heating Credit, a Michigan state tax refund program designed to help low-income Michiganders with their monthly heating bills.
The Michigan Home Heating Credit program gets its funding through the United States Department of Health and Human Service's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The program covers the costs of low-income Michigan residents' previous heating bills by sending an "energy draft," or voucher, to the consumer. Individuals may then send the energy draft to their heating company to receive a credit, or refund, for their heating bills. Only the person whose name is on the bill can use the energy draft.
To be eligible for the Home Heating Credit program, a person must live in Michigan and fall below a set annual household income level. The program bases the income guidelines on individuals' most recent tax returns. The more exemptions an individual claims on his taxes, the more his maximum income ceiling for eligibility increases. For instance, as of 2009, someone claiming zero or one exemption on his tax return was allowed a maximum annual income of $11,929, and someone with six exemptions was allowed a maximum annual income level of $32,500.
Other Eligibility Rules
In addition to the income eligibility rules, the state of Michigan sets other requirements for those wishing to take advantage of the Home Heating Credit program. A person must currently reside in Michigan to take advantage of the program and must have lived in Michigan at some point during the preceding tax year.
Individuals wishing to take advantage of Michigan's Home Heating Credit Program must apply for acceptance. A person may file the Michigan Home Heating Credit application form online at Michigan's E-File website, or she may download, print, and send the form to the Michigan Department of Treasury (see Resources). Additionally, as of 2010, a person must send in the application form no later than September 30 in order to be eligible for the Home Heating Credit Program.