The State Board of Equalization, through the Division of Property Assessments, is charged with the implementation of T.C.A. §§ 67-5-702 - 67-5-704, and promulgates all the necessary rules, regulations and procedures for their implementation.1
Property tax relief is obtainable by submitting an application to the collecting official (i.e., county trustee) using a form approved by the State Board of Equalization. The collecting official will make a preliminary determination of eligibility and forwards the application to the state for final approval. The collecting official may allow the applicant a credit for the projected amount of property tax relief if the applicant appears from the application to be eligible and submits the balance of the property taxes due at the time the credit is given. The collecting official may present evidence of the credit to the director of the Division of Property Assessments, who then authorizes the payment to the tax jurisdiction of the amount for which the applicant was credited in taxes. If later processing of the application indicates that the applicant was ineligible or the credit was otherwise issued in error, the state notifies the applicant and the collecting official and may recover the erroneous payment from the tax jurisdiction. The amount represented by the erroneous payment then becomes due and payable by the applicant as property taxes, but the taxes do not accrue delinquency penalty or interest until 60 days from the date of the notification to the applicant.2
A county trustee may enter into a contract with a city collecting official to process tax relief applications received by the city collecting official.3
Any person who received tax relief payments in error for any tax year or years must repay the state the amount received in error. There is a bar against collection of repayments unless demand is made within two years following the due date for the tax year to which the erroneous payments relate. Any person who received tax relief payments in error may reapply and may obtain tax relief for a subsequent tax year; provided that eligibility is established and the person either pays the full amount of repayment due or applies one half of the tax relief amount for which the person may be eligible to repay the state for amounts received in error until no further repayment is due. The limited liability and right to reapply afforded under the statute is not be available to persons who willfully provide false information concerning eligibility. Any taxpayer who willfully provides false information concerning the taxpayer's income or other information relative to eligibility for tax relief will be required to immediately repay to the state the full amount of any tax relief received as a result of such false information, plus an amount equal to the penalty and interest calculated according to the rates specified in former T.C.A. § 67-1-801(b).4
All taxpayers otherwise eligible for tax relief under T.C.A. §§ 67-5-702 - 67-5-704, but who fail to apply for a refund or present a credit voucher for credit on their taxes within 35 days from the date taxes in the jurisdiction become delinquent for that year, are deemed ineligible for tax relief for that tax year. The payment of the full amount of taxes by the delinquency date is not a condition of eligibility for tax relief.5
Tax relief will be provided to only one recipient for a given property for any tax year and under no condition will any taxpayer receive tax relief for property taxes paid on more than one place of residence for any tax year.6
If a taxpayer eligible for tax relief pursuant to T.C.A. § 67-5-702 (elderly low-income homeowners) or T.C.A. § 67-5-703 (disabled homeowners) dies after applying for tax relief or after receiving a voucher, the surviving spouse, and only the surviving spouse, is qualified to present to the collecting official the tax relief voucher selected for the deceased and to receive a final payment for the tax year for which the voucher was selected, unless the taxes were paid prior to the taxpayer's death. If the taxes were paid at the time application was made and prior to the taxpayer's death, either the surviving spouse or any duly appointed personal representative of the decedent may receive the payment.7
1T.C.A. § 67-5-701(a).
2T.C.A. § 67-5-701(c).
3T.C.A. § 67-5-701(l). 2010 Public Chapter 932.
4T.C.A. § 67-5-701(g).
5T.C.A. § 67-5-701(d)(1).
6T.C.A. § 67-5-701(f).
7T.C.A. § 67-5-701(h).