Taxpayers’ Used a Different Address for Tax Return, Voting, Mortgage Statement and Driver’s License
In Nelson v. County of Mackinac, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 309811, October 10, 2013, a denial of the homestead exemption was affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals because the property taxpayers failed to provide documentation to support their claim that they occupied the subject property as their principal residence during the years at issue.
The subject property was located in Mackinac County. However, the taxpayers filed their tax returns using their address in Lake Orion, and voted in Oakland County. The taxpayers’ mortgage statement and driver’s licenses also reflected the Lake Orion address.
Taxpayer’s Home Had to be the One Place Where He Intended to Return
In Chen v. Muskegon County, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 311979, October 17, 2013 a taxpayer was properly denied a local Michigan property tax principal residence exemption because his home was not the taxpayer’s principal residence for all the tax years in question.
In order to qualify as a principal residence, the taxpayer’s home had to be the one place where he always intended to return. Contrary to the taxpayer’s argument, the taxpayer only changed his address after being audited. Before that, his address was listed at his wife’s home. The Michigan Tax Tribunal determined that this was proof that the taxpayer’s home was not his principal residence.
The taxpayer argued that he should be allowed to make a retroactive conditional rescission to keep the principal residence exemption for the years in question. However, the taxpayer did not properly file the necessary forms or have his house for sale the entire time, both of which were requirements for using a conditional rescission.
The taxpayer also argued that the Tax Tribunal erred by not considering his old age, financial difficulties, federal HUD public policy, the real estate market, and his inability to sell his house. However, none of these considerations pertained to the classification of the taxpayer’s home as his principal residence. Therefore, the Tax Tribunal did not err by failing to take these considerations into account.