Property tax credits, rent reimbursement available
Each year, Iowans who are elderly or have a disability may be able to benefit from a property tax credit on their home or rent reimbursement on apartment or mobile home lot rent.
To be eligible, a person must have household income during 2012 of less than $21,335 and be at least 65 years old or at least 18 years old and have a disability.
Iowans older than 23 with income less than $21,335 also might benefit from reduced taxes on a mobile, manufactured or modular home in a manufactured home community or mobile home park.
The Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance sets the formula for the credit or reimbursement. Property tax credit, rent reimbursement or tax reduction programs are based on a person’s 2012 household income. Household income includes: Social Security, wages, pension and interest income.
If a person gets a rent subsidy, the amount also counts as income. If a person earns income from a business, only the net profit from the business is included.
The credit or reimbursement can be used only for the person’s homestead. A homestead is the dwelling the person owned or rented as his or her home during 2012.
• If a person owns a mobile home and lives in it on a rented lot, he may apply for both rent reimbursement for the lot rent and a reduced tax rate on the mobile home.
• If a person lives in a mobile home on his own property, he may apply for a property tax credit.
• If a person lives in an apartment, the building must be subject to property tax. Apartments owned by nonprofits, like a church, or government entities, like a city, county or state, do not generally pay property taxes.
If a person is not sure whether his apartment pays property taxes, ask the landlord or county treasurer.
In some cases, residents of a nursing home also can be eligible for rent reimbursement or a property tax credit.
• If a person is in a nursing home, but still owns and maintains a homestead, he can apply for the property tax credit.
• If a person lives in a nursing home and no longer owns a home, he may be eligible for rent reimbursement.
• To apply for rent reimbursement, a person needs to find out from the nursing home how much of his total payment is for rent.
Apply between now and June 1 to get a rent reimbursement for 2012 or property tax credit or reduced tax rate for 2013. People must apply yearly.
To get the form, call the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance at 800-367-3388, contact the county treasurer or go to www.iowa.gov/tax/taxlaw/PropertyTaxCredits.html.
The Legal Hotline for Older Iowans at 800-992-8161 also has the forms and can answer questions.