Tax Help & Hardship Assistance

A list of resources has been compiled to assist East Lansing residents with tax help and assistance for financial hardship. *Persons seeking a hardship exemption must contact the assessor's office in the city or township in which they reside.

Tax Help
  • Municipal (Local) Hardship Provision: State Property Tax Law requires all municipalities (local governments) to have a provision for low-income hardship cases. The local unit can only grant hardship for the current year. If you are experiencing hardship, call your local assessor.
  • State of Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit: filed for all years (2005-2008). If unsure of prior filing, call Michigan Department of Treasury at (517) 373-3200. This document should be filed every year - if a property owner and inhabitant has no income, he or she can file Form MI-1040R Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit Claim only (this form can stand along - it is not necessary to file State of Michigan 1040 Income Tax Return Form).
  • Capital Area Community Services (CACS): connects you to organizations and agencies that best fit your needs and circumstances. Some services offered by CACS are year round income tax preparation, property tax assistance as well as money management, debt reduction and credit repair. Call (517) 393-7077 (or 1-800-649-3777).
  • Capital Area United Way: A 24 hour confidential resource hotline. Specialists can refer you to agencies best able to help with your specific needs. Call 2-1-1 (or 1-866-561-2500).
Assistance for Financial Hardship
  • Department of Human Services (DHS): The DHS may be able to assist with mortgage payments, property taxes and home insurance for people in danger of losing their homes. There is a $2,000 lifetime limit for home ownership services. Eligibility is based on numerous factors including income, group size, household's past history and housing affordability. To request an application, please contact Ingham County Department of Human Services at (517) 887-9400 or visit the office between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Hold On To Your Home: Ingham County has compiled Hold On To Your Home that includes information on mortgage and tax foreclosure prevention and how to hold on to your home.
Other Possible Sources of Funding
  • Michigan Veterans Trust Fund: This emergency grant program is coordinated through county offices and an applicant would contact their respective county office. Ingham County veterans and their surviving spouses should contact (517) 887-4311 to schedule an appointment. Learn more about the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (PDF) online.
  • Low Income Elderly: The Tri-County Office on Aging has a crisis center which may have emergency funding available. Please contact their office at (517) 887-1440 or (517) 483-7205 (after normal business hours). They can help you find certified housing counselors to discuss financial options, including reverse mortgages.
  • Religious Groups: Many local houses of worship and spiritual groups have funding available to assist members in crisis. Please contact your local spiritual adviser to discuss the situation.
  • Hardship Pension Withdrawals: Many contributing pension plans have provisions for emergency hardship withdrawals. Please contact your provider to find out if your plan has this type of provision.
  • Local Utility Assistance: The Board of Water and Light (517) 702-6006 and Consumers Energy 1 (800) 477-5050 have programs to assist residents with the payments of their utility bills. If you are a Consumers Energy user, are 65 year or older and head of a household, you may qualify for lowering your billing rates.
  • Legal Assistance: Legal counseling and referrals for homeowners who may need legal advice to resolve problems with lenders or title to the property may want to contact Legal Services of South Central Michigan at (517) 394-3121 for assistance. The Sixty Plus Elderlaw Clinic may also be available to help qualifying individuals. Their phone is (517) 334-5760.