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July 5, 2006 > Tax relief for renters and homeowners

Tax relief for renters and homeowners

by Arnie Becker

Are you over 62, blind or disabled, and have a total household income of less than $40,811? You might qualify for tax relief of up to $347.50 if you are renting and $472.60 as an owner. Those who live in a mobile home can choose which program, the renters or owners, gives the largest refund. You must also be a United States citizen, a designated alien or a qualified alien.

In order to apply you must have a birth certificate, a church baptismal record, hospital birth record, Medi-Cal Benefits Identification Card, a social security award letter that states date of birth or a California driver's license or identification card. If you are blind, you need proof of blindness. You will also need your current property tax bill or certificate of title/registration for a mobile home, income schedules (tax returns), rental income/loss statement, business income/loss and capital gains/losses.

All income must be verified by a trained preparer or the Franchise Tax Board if self prepared. Income includes interest, wages, capital gains on stocks and bonds, dividends, interest on insurance received in installments and interest on tax refunds. Pensions, social security benefits, railroad retirement benefits and corporate bond interest also counts as income. This is only a partial list.

You can deduct 2005 contributions to qualified retirement plans such as a 401K, Keogh Retirement Plan, Simplified Employee Pensions, and Individual Retirement Accounts. These contributions are subtracted from the total gross income. If the result of this math is an income of less than $40,811 and you meet one of the age or disability requirements than you should file for this tax relief.

To schedule an appointment, call your local senior center starting July 1. The application period runs through Oct. 16, 2006 for calendar year 2005.

Castro Valley Senior Center
(510) 881-6738
Fremont Senior Center
(510) 790-6600
Hayward Senior Center
(510) 881-6766
Milpitas Senior Center
(408) 586-2775

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