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Homestead filing deadline April 1

Clerks in the Panola County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office are spreading the word about the changes in this year’s Homestead Exemption filings. April 1 is the last day for signing paperwork.

Anyone who has filed for Homestead Exemption in the past, and has no changes, does not need to sign additional paperwork.

The most glaring change in the process is for 100 percent Disabled Veterans. Those homeowners must bring proof of residency and sign new paperwork. Unmarried widows of 100 percent Disabled Veterans must also bring in proof and sign again.

Homestead Exemption is only for full-time residents of Panola County. Applicants must have a Mississippi driver’s license and plates on their vehicle, must have paid state income tax (where applicable), and must be a registered voter of the county to receive the benefit.

Anyone who turned 65 years of age (or their spouse) last year, anyone who became disabled, built a new home or bought a different home (mobile homes also), anyone who got married, divorced, or either spouse deceased, and anyone who bought or sold land that may be added to or deducted from the homestead listing must go to the courthouse this year to file new paperwork.

The penalties that can be imposed for a fraudulent Homestead Exemption includes the additional assessment of double the amount of taxes lost due a fraudulent claim, a misdemeanor charge, a charge of perjury, a felony charge, a fine up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to two years, or a combination thereof.

Any questions should be directed to the Tax Collector’s office at 563-6215 and 563-6270 in Batesville, and 487-2092 in Sardis.