Can You Learn How to Get Tax Relief for Past Years?

Can You Learn How to Get Tax Relief for Past Years?

Once you start learning how to get tax relief from your Arizona property taxes, you may wonder if you can get it for prior years as well.  

What do you think about at the end of the year? Some people focus on New Year’s resolutions, feeling guilty about the old goals that they neglected for 12 months and getting excited about the new goals that they don’t want to neglect in the upcoming 12 months. Other people may start thinking about taxes and wondering how much they’ll owe the government or perhaps how much the government will owe them.

When 2022 comes to a conclusion, my hope is that you will start thinking about taxes. You may shake your head and say, “No, I don’t file taxes as a senior living on Social Security benefits. I don’t have any earned income to report.” After reading this page and perhaps exploring the rest of my website, I think you might start to rethink that position.

Would you file 2022 income taxes if you were eligible for a tax credit that could refund you $100 or more? You probably would, and that’s why I bet filing taxes will be on your mind come the end of the year. Learning about the Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit right here will make you want to file as early as possible.  I generally file by the first week of February but as late as March since the pandemic.

What Is this Refund For?

This is one of the most common questions I hear from Arizona seniors who live primarily on Social Security benefits. They don't know how to get tax relief because many seniors don’t file income taxes because they think they have nothing to report.  This is just another reason to file with the state come tax time: You have money to collect!

Arizona has a Property Tax Refund Credit that allows seniors who pay rent to live in their primary home to receive a refund for all property taxes paid throughout the year. If you didn’t know that you pay property tax as a renter, it’s time to get out your lease and look at your terms. Some leases will specify the property tax clearly while others may require you to ask your landlord or property manager if they pay property tax on your unit, which with or without your knowledge is passed on to you.

I was shocked when I moved to Arizona more than a decade ago and realized that renters are charged property tax. It didn’t seem fair, but the law in Arizona does allow this. Basically, the property owner is allowed to pass their tax bill down to their renter. This is paid as a percentage of the rental fee, and it is tacked onto the monthly rental payment.

If you live in an apartment community that is assessed property tax, there’s a good chance that you’re paying property tax each time you pay your rent. That money adds up over the year, and the Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit allows you to file for a refund.

How to Get Tax Relief and Let the Government Pay Your Taxes

Think of this as allowing the state to pick up the tab on your property taxes. It doesn’t seem fair that you should pay those taxes, since you’re not the owner of the property. There is no way to get out of paying the tax each time that you pay rent, but this tax credit gives you the opportunity to accept state money as compensation.

You don’t have to actually file individual federal and state income taxes to get this refund, but there are special forms that you must file with the State of Arizona at tax time. Yes, it’s as simple as filling out two special forms and it will cost you no more than the cost of a postage stamp.

How Much Is the Refund?

The amount of money that you receive will depend on your income and other factors. To give you a general idea of what is possible with this tax credit, I will say that I received $3,465 over a period of eight years of filing. My lowest payment was about $170, and my highest payment was over $500 for most years.

That’s a lot of money to someone who lives on Social Security benefits and is always in need of more money. I put that money to good use, and I designed this website to help other people like you to get the money that they not only deserve, but also the state owes to you as well.

Can You Get Money for Last Year’s Property Taxes?

As a senior renter, you forfeit your right to collect your property tax refund if you don’t file for it at the end of the year. The deadline is April 15 each year and coincides with the deadline to file your individual federal and state taxes for reporting earned income. To receive your 2022 property tax refund, this means that you need to file for the tax credit by the deadline in April of 2023. If you don’t make the deadline, you lose that money forever.

There is no filing for past years, (I offer my apologies here) so make sure that you don’t miss the April 15 deadline in April 2023 (falls on a Saturday). We still have months left in 2022, which means you’re still paying property taxes on a property that you live in but don’t own. My goal is to teach you how to get that money back by filing two simple forms in early 2023 during tax season to claim your 2022 property tax refund credit.  When you file with the state you are claiming the property taxes you've paid on your rent throughout 2022.

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