The state of Missouri offers a property tax credit, primarily for seniors and the disabled, commonly referred to as the “Circuit Breaker” which gives credit for a portion of the real estate taxes or rent that they have paid for the year. Unfortunately, as the Wamhoff team learned while manning the Fox 2 call center’s tax tip hotline on 2/18/13, many who qualify are unaware of this credit, or don’t realize they can qualify. Sandy Furuya, Senior Accounting Manager at Wamhoff Financial Planning & Accounting Services, provides the following guidance.
1. Am I eligible?
- Were you or your spouse 65 years of age or older at the end of the year?
- Were you 100% disabled as a result of military service?
- Are you 100% disabled?
- Were you 60 years of age or older at the end of the year, and receiving surviving spouse SSB?
- Are you a resident of Missouri?
- If you are unsure, ask a tax professional!
2. What are the household income requirements?
- Homeowners who are married and filing jointly: $34,000 or less.
- Homeowners who are single: $30,000 or less
- Renters who are married and filing jointly: $29,500 or less
- Renters who are single: $27,500 or less.
3. What counts as income?
- Household income is ALL INCOME received. This would include your Investment Income, Social Security Income (including Railroad Retirement and Disability Income), Wages, Pensions, Annuities, Rental Income, etc.
- You must also include your Veterans Benefits UNLESS you are 100% disabled as a result of military services. Surviving spouses must include the benefits.
- Also include public assistance, child support, unemployment and temporary assistance.
4. What is the amount of the tax credit?
- Up to $1,100 for homeowners.
- Up to $750 for renters.
5. Where to go for help
- Free assistance is available for the preparation of the tax credit forms.
- VITA 1-800-906-9887
- AARP 888-227-7669.