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PDFWAC 458-16A-100

Senior citizen, disabled person, and disabled veteran exemptionDefinitions.

(1) Introduction. This rule contains definitions of the terms used for the senior citizen, disabled person, and disabled veteran property tax exemption described in RCW 84.36.381 through 84.36.389.
(2) Annuity. "Annuity" means a series of long-term periodic payments, under a contract or agreement. It does not include payments for the care of dependent children. For purposes of this subsection, "long-term" means a period of more than one full year from the annuity starting date.
Annuity distributions must be included in "disposable income," as that term is defined in subsection (13) of this rule, regardless of whether the distributions are taxable under federal law. A one-time, lump sum, total distribution is not an "annuity" for purposes of this rule, and only the taxable portion that would be included in federal adjusted gross income should be included in disposable income.
(3) Assessment year. "Assessment year" means the year the assessor lists and values the principal residence for property taxes. The assessment year is the calendar year prior to the year the taxes are due and payable. The assessment year is the year before the claimant receives the reduction in their property taxes because of the senior citizen, disabled person, and disabled veteran exemption.
(4) Capital gain. "Capital gain" means the amount the seller receives for property, other than inventory, over that seller's adjusted basis in the property. The seller's initial basis in the property is the property's cost plus taxes, freight charges, and installation fees. In determining the capital gain, the seller's costs of transferring the property to a new owner are also added onto the adjusted basis of the property. If the property is acquired in some other manner than by purchase, the seller's initial basis in the property is determined by the way the seller received the property (e.g., property exchange, payment for services, gift, or inheritance). The seller increases and decreases the initial basis of the property for events occurring between the time the property is acquired and when it is sold (e.g., increased by the cost of improvements made later to the property).
(5) Claimant. "Claimant" means a person claiming the senior citizen, disabled person, and disabled veteran exemption by filing an application with the assessor in the county where the property is located.
(6) Combined disposable income. "Combined disposable income" means the annual disposable income of the claimant, the claimant's spouse or domestic partner, and any cotenant occupying the residence for the assessment year, reduced by amounts paid by the claimant or the claimant's spouse or domestic partner for their:
(a) Legally prescribed drugs;
(b) Home health care;
(c) Nursing home, boarding home, assisted living facility, or adult family home expenses; and
(d) Health care insurance premiums for medicare under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.
Disposable income is not reduced by these amounts if payments are reimbursed by insurance or a government program (e.g., medicare or medicaid). When the application is made, the combined disposable income is calculated for the assessment year.
(7) Cotenant. "Cotenant" means a person who resides with the claimant and who has an ownership interest in the residence.
(8) County median household income. "County median household income" means the median household income estimates for the state of Washington by county of the legal address of the principal place of residence, as published by the office of financial management.
(9) Department. "Department" means the state department of revenue.
(10) Depreciation. "Depreciation" means the annual deduction allowed to recover the cost of business or investment property having a useful life of more than one year. In limited circumstances, this cost, or a part of this cost, may be taken as a section 179 expense on the federal income tax return in the year business property is purchased.
(11) Disability. "Disability" means the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months. RCW 84.36.383; 42 U.S.C. Sec. 423 (d)(1)(A).
(12) Disabled veteran. "Disabled veteran" means a veteran of the armed forces of the United States entitled to and receiving compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at:
(a) A combined service-connected evaluation rating of eighty percent or higher; or
(b) A total disability rating for a service-connected disability without regard to evaluation percent.
(13) Disposable income. "Disposable income" means the adjusted gross income as defined in the Federal Internal Revenue Code of 2001, and as amended after that date, plus all the other items described below to the extent they are not included in or have been deducted from adjusted gross income:
(a) Capital gains, other than gain excluded from the sale of a principal residence that is reinvested prior to the sale or within the same calendar year in a different principal residence;
(b) Amounts deducted for loss;
(c) Amounts deducted for depreciation;
(d) Pension and annuity receipts;
(e) Military pay and benefits other than attendant-care and medical-aid payments. Attendant-care and medical-aid payments are any payments for medical care, home health care, health insurance coverage, hospital benefits, or nursing home benefits provided by the military;
(f) Veterans benefits other than:
(i) Attendant-care payments and medical-aid payments, defined as any payments for medical care, home health care, health insurance coverage, hospital benefits, or nursing home benefits provided by the VA;
(ii) Disability compensation, defined as payments made by the VA to a veteran because of a service-connected disability; and
(iii) Dependency and indemnity compensation, defined as payments made by the VA to a surviving spouse, child, or parent because of a service-connected death;
(g) Federal Social Security Act and railroad retirement benefits;
(h) Dividend receipts; and
(i) Interest received on state and municipal bonds.
(14) Domestic partner. "Domestic partner" means a person registered under chapter 26.60 RCW or a partner in a legal union of two persons, other than a marriage, that was validly formed in another jurisdiction, and that is substantially equivalent to a domestic partnership under chapter 26.60 RCW.
(15) Domestic partnership. "Domestic partnership" means a partnership registered under chapter 26.60 RCW or a legal union of two persons, other than a marriage, that was validly formed in another jurisdiction, and that is substantially equivalent to a domestic partnership under chapter 26.60 RCW.
(16) Excess levies. "Excess levies" has the same meaning as provided in WAC 458-19-005 for "excess property tax levy."
(17) Excluded military pay or benefits. "Excluded military pay or benefits" means military pay or benefits excluded from a person's federal gross income, other than those amounts excluded from that person's federal gross income for attendant-care and medical-aid payments. Members of the armed forces receive many different types of pay and allowances. Some payments or allowances are included in their gross income for federal income tax purposes while others are excluded. Excluded military pay or benefits include:
(a) Compensation for active service while in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous duty area;
(b) Death allowances for burial services, gratuity payment to a survivor, or travel of dependents to the burial site;
(c) Moving allowances;
(d) Travel allowances;
(e) Uniform allowances;
(f) Group term life insurance payments made by the military on behalf of the claimant, the claimant's spouse or domestic partner, or the cotenant; and
(g) Survivor and retirement protection plan premiums paid by the military on behalf of the claimant, the claimant's spouse or domestic partner, or the cotenant.
(18) Family dwelling unit. "Family dwelling unit" means the dwelling unit occupied by a single person, any number of related persons, or a group not exceeding a total of eight related and unrelated nontransient persons living as a single noncommercial housekeeping unit. The term does not include a boarding or rooming house.
(19) Home health care. "Home health care" means the treatment or care of either the claimant or the claimant's spouse or domestic partner received in the home. It must be similar to the type of care provided in the normal course of treatment or care in a nursing home, although the person providing the home health care services need not be specially licensed. The treatment and care must meet at least one of the following criteria. It must be for:
(a) Medical treatment or care received in the home;
(b) Physical therapy received in the home;
(c) Food, oxygen, lawful substances taken internally or applied externally, necessary medical supplies, or special needs furniture or equipment (such as wheel chairs, hospital beds, or therapy equipment), brought into the home as part of a necessary or appropriate in-home service that is being rendered (such as a meals on wheels type program); or
(d) Attendant care to assist the claimant, or the claimant's spouse or domestic partner, with household tasks, and such personal care tasks as meal preparation, eating, dressing, personal hygiene, specialized body care, transfer, positioning, ambulation, bathing, toileting, self-medication a person provides for himself or herself, or such other tasks as may be necessary to maintain a person in their own home, but does not include improvements or repair of the home itself.
(20) Income threshold 1. "Income threshold 1" means:
(a) For taxes levied for collection in calendar years prior to 2020, a combined disposable income equal to thirty thousand dollars; and
(b) For taxes levied for collection in calendar year 2020 and thereafter, a combined disposable income equal to the greater of income threshold 1 for the previous year or forty-five percent of the county median household income, adjusted every five years beginning August 1, 2019, as provided in RCW 84.36.385(8).
(21) Income threshold 2. "Income threshold 2" means:
(a) For taxes levied for collection in calendar years prior to 2020, a combined disposable income equal to thirty-five thousand dollars; and
(b) For taxes levied for collection in calendar year 2020 and thereafter, a combined disposable income equal to the greater of income threshold 2 for the previous year or fifty-five percent of the county median household income, adjusted every five years beginning August 1, 2019, as provided in RCW 84.36.385(8).
(22) Income threshold 3. "Income threshold 3" means:
(a) For taxes levied for collection in calendar years prior to 2020, a combined disposable income equal to forty thousand dollars; and
(b) For taxes levied for collection in calendar year 2020 and thereafter, a combined disposable income equal to the greater of income threshold 3 for the previous year or sixty-five percent of the county median household income, adjusted every five years beginning August 1, 2019, as provided in RCW 84.36.385(8).
(23) Lease for life. "Lease for life" means a lease that terminates upon the death of the lessee.
(24) Legally prescribed drugs. "Legally prescribed drugs" means drugs supplied by prescription of a medical practitioner authorized to issue prescriptions by the laws of this state or another jurisdiction.
(25) Life estate. "Life estate" means an estate whose duration is limited to the life of the party holding it or of some other person.
(a) Reservation of a life estate upon a principal residence placed in trust or transferred to another is a life estate.
(b) Beneficial interest in a trust is considered a life estate for the settlor of a revocable or irrevocable trust who grants to themselves the beneficial interest directly in their principal residence, or the part of the trust containing their personal residence, for at least the period of their life.
(c) Beneficial interest in an irrevocable trust is considered a life estate, or a lease for life, for the beneficiary who is granted the beneficial interest representing their principal residence held in an irrevocable trust, if the beneficial interest is granted under the trust instrument for a period that is not less than the beneficiary's life.
(26) Owned. "Owned" includes "contract purchase" as well as "in fee," a "life estate," and any "lease for life." A residence owned by a marital community or domestic partnership or owned by cotenants is deemed to be owned by each spouse or each domestic partner or each cotenant.
(27) Ownership by a marital community or domestic partnership. "Ownership by a marital community or domestic partnership" means property owned in common by both spouses or domestic partners. Property held in separate ownership by one spouse or domestic partner is not owned by the marital community or domestic partnership. The person claiming the exemption must own the property for which the exemption is claimed. For example, a person qualifying for the exemption by virtue of age, disability, or disabled veteran status may not claim this exemption on a residence owned by the person's spouse or domestic partner as a separate estate outside the marital community or domestic partnership unless the claimant has a life estate in that separate estate.
(28) Pension. "Pension" generally means an arrangement providing for payments, not wages, to a person or to that person's family, who has fulfilled certain conditions of service or reached a certain age. Pension distributions may be triggered by separation from service, attainment of a specific age, disability, death, or other events. A pension may allow payment of all or a part of the entire pension benefit, in lieu of regular periodic payments.
(29) Principal residence. "Principal residence" means the claimant owns and occupies the residence as their principal or main residence. It does not include a residence used merely as a vacation home. For purposes of this exemption:
(a) Principal or main residence means the claimant occupies the residence for more than nine months each calendar year.
(b) Confinement of the claimant to a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, adult family home, or home of a relative for the purpose of long-term care, does not disqualify the claim for exemption if:
(i) The residence is temporarily unoccupied;
(ii) The residence is occupied by the claimant's spouse or domestic partner or a person financially dependent on the claimant for support;
(iii) The residence is occupied by a caretaker who is not paid for watching the house;
(iv) The residence is rented for the purpose of paying nursing home, hospital, boarding home, or adult family home costs.
(c) For purposes of this subsection, "relative" means any individual related to the claimant by blood, marriage, or adoption.
(30) Regular gainful employment. "Regular gainful employment" means consistent or habitual labor or service which results in an increase in wealth or earnings.
(31) Regular property tax levies. "Regular property tax levies" has the same meaning as provided in WAC 458-19-005 for "regular property tax levy."
(32) Replacement residence. "Replacement residence" means a residence that qualifies for the senior citizen, disabled person, and disabled veteran exemption and replaces the prior residence of the person receiving the exemption.
(33) Residence. "Residence" means a single-family dwelling unit whether the unit is separate or part of a multiunit dwelling and includes up to one acre of the parcel of land on which the dwelling stands. A residence also includes any additional property up to a total of five acres that comprises the residential parcel if land use regulations require this larger parcel size. The term also includes:
(a) A share ownership in a cooperative housing association, corporation, or partnership if the person claiming exemption can establish that his or her share represents the specific unit or portion of the structure in which they reside.
(b) A single-family dwelling situated on leased lands and on lands the fee of which is vested in the United States, any instrumentality thereof including an Indian tribe, the state of Washington, or its political subdivisions.
(c) A mobile home which has substantially lost its identity as a mobile unit by being fixed in location on land owned or rented by the owner of the mobile home and placed on a foundation, posts, or blocks with fixed pipe connections for sewer, water or other utilities even though it may be listed and assessed by the county assessor as personal property. It includes up to one acre of the parcel of land on which the mobile home is located if both the land and mobile home are owned by the same qualified claimant. It also includes any additional property up to a total of five acres that comprises the residential parcel if land use regulations require this larger parcel size.
(34) Veteran. "Veteran" means a veteran of the armed forces of the United States.
(35) Veterans benefits. "Veterans benefits" means benefits paid or provided under any law, regulation, or administrative practice administered by the VA. Federal law excludes from gross income any veterans' benefits payments, paid under any law, regulation, or administrative practice administered by the VA.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.36.865. WSR 20-04-017, § 458-16A-100, filed 1/24/20, effective 2/24/20. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, and 84.36.389. WSR 18-04-007, § 458-16A-100, filed 1/25/18, effective 2/25/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300, 82.01.060(2), and 84.36.865. WSR 16-11-032, § 458-16A-100, filed 5/10/16, effective 6/10/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.36.389 and 84.36.865. WSR 13-08-028, § 458-16A-100, filed 3/27/13, effective 4/27/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.36.383, 84.36.389, and 84.36.865. WSR 08-16-075, § 458-16A-100, filed 7/31/08, effective 8/31/08; WSR 03-09-002, § 458-16A-100, filed 4/2/03, effective 5/3/03.]
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