Application forms for the Department of Revenue's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available for eligible residents to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2011.
The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.
The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.
Each resident who received a rebate last year should have received by now either a 2011 application form or a letter from the department, if last year's claim was prepared using computer software rather than the PA-1000 booklet, reminding the resident to apply for a 2011 rebate.
It costs nothing to apply for a rebate. In response to continued inquiries and complaints regarding fee-based application filing services offered privately, the department reminds residents that free filing help is available at hundreds of locations across the state. Application forms and assistance are available at no cost from Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators' offices.
Applications are also available online at
www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling 1-888-222-9190.
Older adults must reapply for rebates every year because rebates are based on property taxes or rent paid each year and annual income.
The deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2011 is June 30, 2012. Rebates will be distributed beginning on July 1, as specified by law.
More than $283.5 million in property and rent rebates have been sent to more than 602,000 homeowners and renters across the state for taxes and rent paid in 2010.
The department wants all eligible Pennsylvanians to apply for and receive rebates through this program, but it cautions that fraudulent or falsified rebate claims will result in denial of rebate.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program's 1971 inception, older adults and adults with disabilities have received $4.8 billion in property tax and rent rebates. Revenue from slots gaming also funds the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.
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