Seniors who rent may be eligible for tax credits

January 12, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

If you are a renter, age 60 or older, disabled, or the surviving spouse of someone over 60 or disabled, you may be entitled to a payment from Maryland.

Eligible seniors may receive payments of up to $600 from the state Renters' Tax Credit program.

The amount of the payment varies with household income and the amount of rent paid.

The Carroll County Senior Information and Assistance Office will supply the necessary forms and help seniors fill them out, said Ann U. Allen, coordinator of the Carroll office of the state program.

Information and Assistance staff members will make home visits, if necessary, to help people apply, she said.

Help in applying for the credit may be especially welcome this year, Ms. Allen said, because changes in the program since last year may complicate the process.

Ms. Allen said the state assumes that about 15 percent of rent payment goes to offset the landlord's property taxes.

The Senior Information and Assistance Office will also help seniors who own their homes to apply for homeowners' property tax credits. These credits reduce the amount of property tax owed by homeowners, by an amount that varies with household income.

In Maryland, tax credits are available to homeowners of any age, based on their income. However, the homeowner tax credit program is particularly appropriate for many seniors, Ms. Allen said, because many older residents have limited incomes.

The deadline for applying for both types of credit is Sept. 1, but the office advises seniors to apply earlier.

For an appointment with Senior Information and Assistance staff members for help applying for the money, call 876-3363, 848-4049 or 875-3342 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Some of the forms will not be available until early February, Ms. Allen said.

She also cautioned that it takes about three months after applying for the renters' tax credit for the payment to arrive.

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