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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
Monday, May 7, 2012

Fong: Low-Income Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons May Qualify for Renter's Refund

BISMARCK, N.D. Tax Commissioner Cory Fong today reminded low-income senior citizens and disabled persons to file for the Renter Refund. Eligible renters may be able to receive a refund for part of the money they paid as rent for their home or apartment. The deadline to file for the refund is May 31, 2012.

"The Renter Refund program targets those people who might have a hard time meeting basic living expenses like electricity, heat, and food," said Fong. "It returns some of the money they paid as rent in 2011." Fong added, "mobile home residents may also be eligible for a refund of part of the lot rent they paid."

The Tax Department administers the Renter's Refund program. Low-income senior citizens and disabled persons might be eligible to receive a refund, up to $400, through the Homestead Credit Renter Refund program. The Tax Department offers the refund to renters who are 65, or older, or permanently and totally disabled.

"The renter's refund program has been in place for a long time and many low-income senior citizens and disabled individuals who live on a fixed income rely on it," said Fong.

In addition to the age or disability status, there are certain other criteria. For instance, a renter's 2011 income cannot exceed $26,000. If 20 percent of the total rent paid is more than 4 percent of their 2011 income, they could be eligible for a refund.

The maximum refund amount is $400. As an example,

  • A renter pays $450 per month in rent ($5,400 per year) and their income is $18,000.
  • Twenty percent of $5,400 is $1,080.
  • Four percent of $18,000 is $720.
  • The difference is $360, to which the renter is entitled.

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

Last year the Tax Department paid about 2,360 refunds for just over $584,000. The average refund was about $247- per application. The deadline to apply is May 31.

Fong encourages people who think they might qualify to contact the Tax Department in Bismarck at 701.328.3127 or 877.328.7088 (select option 6) for more information.

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