Did you know that you may be able to claim tax credits on money that you have already paid? It happened to me.
What’s the biggest mistake that you could make in the upcoming months? Based on my experience with the property tax code in Arizona, I firmly believe that one of the biggest mistakes seniors will make this year is to neglect learning about the Property Tax Refund Credit. I have been refunded more than $1,600 in the past four years just by filing for one refund credit, and my goal is to help other seniors receive the money that I know they deserve.
That includes you. If you rent a home or an apartment in Arizona, there’s a good chance that you have $100 or more waiting for you when you claim tax credits due to you. All you need to get that money is a bit of information from me and a little time to fill out and submit a simple form.
Most Arizona cities add a small property tax to the monthly payments made by renters. Maybe you’ve seen this tax but didn’t think much about it because it doesn’t add too much to your total payment, but those small taxes add up over the course of a year. If you aren’t applying for a return of that money through the Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit each year, then it can add up to thousands of dollars over time when you claim tax credits.
If you depend on fixed Social Security income, then giving up even $50 a year is painful. Imagine what you could do with that extra money in your pocket throughout the year. You can’t stop the government from charging this tax, but you can file for the credit to receive a refund of your money come tax time.
There are just a few exemptions that will automatically disqualify you from receiving this tax return:
This last exemption is one that you can prevent. It only takes the information on this website and the cost of postage stamp to get the money that you deserve when you claim tax credits.
How have I qualified to receive more than $1,600 in tax refunds? I simply learned about the Property Tax Refund Credit just as you’re doing right now. If all of the following qualifications apply to you, then I encourage you to continue learning and follow through with your first filing in 2019.
1. You live in a rental property that pays property taxes.
If your rental company pays property tax on the unit in which you live, they will pass that expense on to you. This happens when they add a fee onto your monthly rental payment. When you pay the total rent each month, you’re paying the tax and can claim tax credits!
For example, I qualified for the property tax refund credit because my apartment complex adds 2.5% to my monthly rental price. This is the property tax rate in my city, but you might have a different rate where you live. All that you need to verify at this point is that your rental company pays property tax on your rental unit.
2. You have lived in a rental property that pays property taxes from the first to last day of 2018.
In order to apply and claim tax credits in 2019, you need to reside in your apartment from January 1 through December 31, 2018. This qualifies you to file for the tax credit with your 2018 income tax filing.
3. You are the responsible party on your rental lease and are required to pay your own rent each month.
Your signed lease is your proof of this qualification. Make sure to save this documentation because it will show the exact move-in and move-out (if applicable) dates, and it should list you as the responsible party. In some cases, your lease will show exactly how much of your monthly rental payment is represented by the property tax. This can give you a good idea of the amount you may be refunded once you file for the tax credit.
This is where some seniors are excluded from this tax credit, unfortunately. If you have Section 8 or other forms of subsidized housing, then you aren’t the sole party responsible for paying your rent and won’t qualify for this refund.
4. Your total household income in 2018 will not exceed $3,751 for individuals or $5,501 for couples or multiple-adult households. Your monthly Social Security retirement benefits do not count in your income total.
These figures are the current income cap, and you don’t qualify for the tax credit if your household income is higher. This doesn’t include your Social Security income, so most seniors who don’t work will qualify for the credit. Keep in mind that retirement annuities, 401K plans and other payouts will increase your total income and can disqualify you.
5. You will be 65 or older on or before December 31, 2018.
The exception to this rule is for blind or disabled people under the age of 65 who receive SSI. Keep in mind that SSI is not the same thing as Social Security. If you meet the income requirements, you can still qualify even though you aren’t technically a senior.
As a senior myself living in the state of Arizona, I do not want you to miss out on money that you already deserve. Let me help you get your paperwork together early so that you don’t miss the Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit in April.