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What is Nonrefundable Renter's Credit and how do I qualify?

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Nonrefundable Renter's Credit is a personal income tax credit that can only be used to offset your tax liability; therefore, you must have a tax liability to claim the credit.

You qualify for the Nonrefundable Renter's Credit if you meet all the following:

  • You were a California resident in 2013.
  • Your California adjusted gross income (AGI) is $36,955 or less if your filing status is single or married/registered domestic partner filing a separate return; or $73,910 or less if you are married/registered domestic partner filing jointly, head of household, or qualified widow-er.
  • You paid rent for at least half of 2013 for property in California that was your principal residence.
  • You did not live with another person for more than half the year (such as a parent) who claimed you as a dependent in 2013.
  • You are not a minor living with and under the care of a parent, foster parent, or legal guardian.
  • You rented property for more than half the year that was not exempt from California property tax in 2013.
  • If you are married, neither you nor your spouse/registered domestic partner was granted a homeowner's property tax exemption during 2013. (You can still qualify for the credit, even though your spouse/registered domestic partner claimed a homeowner's exemption, as long as each of you maintained a separate residence for the entire year in 2013).

If you meet the requirements above the credit is:

  • Single, $60
  • Head of Household or widow-er, $120
  • Married/registered domestic partner filing separately, $60
  • Married/registered domestic partner filing jointly, $120