Many senior renters don't know that they even qualify for tax credit help so they don't know to even file for it! When you file your taxes with the State of Arizona next year, how many credits do you expect to receive? You may already be familiar with low-income tax credits in our state such as Arizona Family Tax Credit, and Arizona Increased Excise Tax Credit. A tax credit you may not be familiar with is mentioned in the paragraph below this one, the tax credit I file for every year with success for the past eight years.
If you’re like many seniors, there is at least one tax refund program that could benefit you in the upcoming year. It’s called the Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit, and it’s often believed to only help homeowners who pay property tax on their single-family home. In reality, this tax credit is available to senior renters age 65 or older and who pay their own rent to live in a property that is subject to property tax. You are paying this tax each time you make your monthly rent payment whether you are aware of it or not as it is added on to your rent payments depending on where you live in Arizona (Flagstaff and Tucson are exempted).
That last sentence hints a lot of requirements, but don’t get overwhelmed if you don’t understand all of it at this moment. What you need to know at this point is that the State of Arizona is establishing programs to help seniors who live primarily or exclusively on their social security benefits and other limited streams of income. This tax credit is one of those relief programs, so you may get more money back from your next state tax filing than you anticipated. However, realize that this is not earned income state tax filing - it's different!
This is one of the most common questions that I hear from seniors once they learn that they may qualify for a tax refund just for paying their own rent. The amount of your Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit will depend on your income and other circumstances. The goal of the program is to help seniors who need to stretch their income in order to pay for food, medication, doctor’s visits, and other necessary living expenses. Therefore, there is an income restriction that may disqualify some seniors from receiving the tax credit.
The first step is always determining whether you qualify for the tax credit, and that is what I will help you do through this website. Once you file the appropriate state tax return forms and receive your refund for the first year, you will have a better idea of what you can expect for future refunds. This is different for everyone based on many factors, but let me assure you that my refunds have made a substantial difference in my finances for the past eight years. I do believe that it is worth the time filing for the tax credit in most cases even though you may not be filing taxes to report earned income.
I spend a lot of time talking about tax credit help and the qualifications for Arizona’s property tax refund for senior renters, but there is also an exemption that all seniors must know about. I discovered this exemption while doing my own research into this tax credit, and it’s one of the main reasons that some seniors are turned away when filing for the refund. If you receive help from the tenant-based Section 8 program or live in public housing, then you cannot qualify for and receive the Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit.
Please pay special attention to this exemption because it can save you a lot of time and spare you the frustration of being turned down for the tax credit help later on. You may still want to jot down some notes as you learn about the tax credit program because you never know where you will be next year or the year after. You may not qualify at this time due to living in public housing or receiving Section 8, but I am always here to help if your circumstances change in the future.