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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FONG: RENTER REFUND FILING DEADLINE IS MAY 31ST

BISMARCK, N.D. Tax Commissioner Cory Fong today reminded low income senior citizens and disabled persons they may be able to receive a refund for part of the money they paid as rent for their home or apartment. The deadline for filing for the refund is May 31, 2011.

"The Renter's Refund program offers some relief to low income senior citizens and disabled persons who pay rent for their home," said Fong. "This is an important program, especially for those who need it most the low-income, elderly and disabled those individuals who might be having a hard time meeting basic living expenses like electricity, heat, and food."

The Renter's Refund program is part of the Homestead Credit for Senior Citizens or Disabled Persons that the state Tax Department administers. The refund program is available to low-income renters who are 65 or older or permanently and totally disabled.

"Through the program, they may receive some of the money they paid as rent for their home or apartment in 2010," said Fong, adding that "mobile home residents may also be eligible for a refund of part of the lot rent they paid."

In addition to the age or disability status and income criteria, there are certain other eligibility requirements for the renter refund. For instance, to qualify for the program, a renter's 2010 income cannot exceed $26,000. If 20 percent of the total amount of rent paid is more than 4 percent of their 2010 income, they could be eligible for a refund. The maximum refund amount is $400. For example, if a renter pays $450 per month in rent ($5,400 per year) and the renter's income is $18,000. Twenty percent of $5,400 is $1,080 and 4 percent of $18,000 is $720. The difference is $360, to which the renter is entitled.

"My goal today is to make sure we are doing what we can to get the word out about the Renter's Refund so that everyone who meets the requirements is able to apply before the deadline," said Fong.

Last year the Tax Department paid 2,400 refunds, which totaled about $550,955, an average of about $230 per application. The deadline to apply is May 31.

Fong added, "Anyone who thinks they might be eligible should contact the Tax Department and request an application."

Fong encourages people who think they may qualify to call the Tax Department in Bismarck at 701.328.3127 or 877.328.7088 option 6 for more information.

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