Missouri’s Property Tax Credit Program Provides Relief for Seniors and Disabled Homeowners
Taxes are one of life’s unavoidable burdens. But for seniors and disabled citizens in Missouri, the Circuit Breaker Program may provide them with some tax relief. This program is designed to help low-income seniors and disabled individuals pay their property taxes.
The program is available to both homeowners and renters, but many residents are not aware of the program or how to access the funds. “Probably less than 25% of the people that qualify for this program in the county [use this],” St. Francois County Clerk Kevin Engler said. “Anecdotally, when talking to people, most aren’t even aware that it exists.”
Homeowners can receive a credit of $1,100 and renters can receive a credit of up to $750. However, not all seniors or disabled individuals will qualify for the program.
Missouri residents who own or rent a property and are 65 years or older, are 60 years or older with Social Security Administration (SSA) survivors’ benefits, are100% disabled veterans due to military service, or are disabled individuals ages 18-64 receiving social security disability benefits may apply for this program.
To qualify renters and homeowners must meet total household income limit requirements.
- Single filing renters and part-year owners: Total household income of $27,000 or less.
- Married renters or part-year owners filing jointly: Total combined income of $29,500 or less.
- Single filing homeowners: Total household income of $30,000 or less.
- Married homeowners filing jointly: Total combined household income of $34,000 or less.
Both taxable and nontaxable income is counted when determining eligibility. Common sources of income to consider are:
- Social security benefits.
- Wages, pensions, annuities, dividends, interest, rental income, or unemployment compensation.
- Veteran benefits.
- Public Assistance.
- Railroad retirement benefits.
Qualified applicants can obtain application forms online through the Missouri Department of Revenue. You will need to provide the following items:
- Proof of income.
- Proof of real estate taxes paid.
- Certification of rent paid.
- Verification of rent paid.
Additional forms are required for homeowners who live on more than five acres of property. Applicants can’t claim the taxes for their entire property, only the five acres that their home is on. For this situation, an Assessor Certification Form 948 is needed so the assessor can break down the real estate tax for the claimable five acres of land.
The 2020 due date for applications is April 15, 2021. However, qualified applicants can file a claim for the past three years.
Programs like Missouri’s tax relief program are designed to address the fairness of the state and local property tax systems. When residents earn less, their property taxes still stay high, meaning low-and middle-income families use a greater percentage of their income to make these payments. It is with this inequity in mind that eighteen states, including Missouri, and the District of Columbia now offer similar Circuit Breaker tax relief programs.