Real Estate Tax Relief Program

Where to Apply

Mail completed applications to:

Department of Human Services
2100 Washington Blvd., 3rd Floor
Arlington, Virginia 22204

FAQs – Real Estate Tax Relief

Application Deadline

The 2015 Real Estate Tax Relief program is now over. The 2016 program will begin in mid-January, 2016. See below for information for the 2015 program.



  • You must be at least 65 years old (if not totally and permanently disabled).
  • If you turn 65 during the current year, the amount of exemption will reflect the number of months that you meet the age requirement.
  • A spouse may be younger than 65 and not disabled as long as the other spouse meets all the requirements. Owners other than spouses must meet all of the requirements.


  • Your home has to be your sole residence. All owners who have title to the property must reside in the property as of January 1 of this year and continue to reside there (except owners in nursing homes and assisted living facilities).


1. You must be totally and permanently disabled.

2. You must also be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of your disability. If you are substantially gainfully employed, you will not meet the disability criteria for this program even with appropriate documentation.

3. You need a certification by one of the following:

  • Social Security Administration
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • Railroad Retirement Board, or
  • Affidavits by two medical doctors licensed to practice medicine in Virginia that you are permanently and totally disabled. One of the affidavits must be based upon a physical examination. Call 703-228-1300 for more information and affidavit forms.

Note: If you have a 100% service connected total and permanent disability, you may qualify for the Real Estate Tax Exemption of Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse program. Call 703-228-3971 for more information.

Property Title

  • You must have title to the property as of Jan. 1 of this year.

Income Requirements

  • All sources of income, whether taxable or not, are considered. This includes the gross income and all assets of relatives living in the home.
  • Provide the following:
    •  A copy of the Federal Income Tax Form (1040 or 1040a), with all attachments, for all the applicant and all relatives living in the home.
    • Attach all W-2s and 1099s.
    • Proof of all income, both earned and unearned is required.
    • Unearned income includes benefits such as Social Security, Annuities, Civil Service Annuities, Veterans Benefits and financial contributions from friends/family.

Income Exemptions

If the combined gross income of all of the owners and relatives living in the home during the preceding year is $99,472 or less you may qualify for an exemption. Household assets (excluding your home) must be less than $340,000 for an exemption. The percent of taxes exempted depends on income, as follows:

Combined Gross Income Percent of Taxes Exempted
One or two person household
$0-$55,953 Full
$55,954-$68,387 50%
$68,388- $99,472 25%
Three person household
$0-$62,667 Full
$62,668-$76,593 50%
$76,594-$99,472 25%
Four person household
$0-$69,560 Full
$69,561-85,018 50%
$85,019-$99,472 25%


Income Deferrals

If your income is within the limit and your assets are more $340,000 but less than $540,000 you may qualify for a deferral only. 

If your exemption does not cover the whole tax, you may defer payment of the balance without penalty or interest until the property changes ownership.

Asset Documentation

Documentation of assets must be provided including:

  • Bank statements
  • Statements from all financial institutions for December of last year.

Life Tenancy

  • Only the life tenant and any owners who live in the home need to qualify.

Maintaining Your Eligibility

  • A full review application will be completed at least every three years.
  •  In other years you may only be required to complete a short review form.
  • The appropriate forms are sent each January to those who received tax relief the previous year.