By Hugh Duncan
The mission of Sun City Community Assistance Network is to, “Connect people with resources to enhance their standard of living.
In other words, Sun City CAN helps people save money on things like property taxes, income taxes, utilities, Medicare premiums, prescription drugs and other things.
Many benefits go unclaimed simply because people are unaware that the benefits exist. In an effort to shed light on some of the help that is available to low-income seniors, I will write a column each month about a different senior help program.
Property tax credit
The Arizona Property Tax Credit is a state program that provides a refundable credit based on the amount of property tax paid during the calendar year.
It is available to qualifying low-income seniors age 65 or older and those who receive SSI. The maximum refund is $502 per year. A graduated schedule is used to determine the actual refund amount. Renters can also participate by having their landlord complete a Department of Revenue Form 201, disclosing the amount of property tax paid on the rental unit.
For a person living alone, the maximum annual income, over and above Social Security, is $3,751 and for households with more than one person the maximum amount, over and above Social Security, is $5,501 (combining the income for everyone in the household).
Again, neither Social Security, the Social Security equivalent of railroad retirement, nor veteran’s disability count when determining the maximum annual income of $3,751 or $5,501.
You must be an Arizona resident for the entire year. Form PTC-140 must be filed by April 15.
Excise tax refund
The Arizona Increased Excise Tax Refund is a program available to lower income Arizona residents.
Eligible applicants receive a check for $25 for an individual or $50 for a married couple. Eligibility is based on federal adjusted gross income, $12,500 for single filers and $25,000 for joint filers. The refundable amount is $25 per person up to a maximum of $100 for filers with dependents.
You need to be an Arizona resident by year’s end for this refund.
How do you claim these refunds?
On Fridays during tax season (Feb. 1-April 15), Sun City Community Assistance Network helps people file for these refunds. Last year we helped more than 500 people!
Appointments are available by calling the CAN office at 623-933-7530 after Jan. 1. The CAN office is located at 10195 W. Coggins Drive in Sun City.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Duncan is Sun City CAN board president.