California Renters Credit - How Does It Work?  

California Renters Credit - How Does It Work?

What is California Renter's Credit? (Updated - December 2023)

If you're new to California, you may have heard about California Renter's Credit, but don't know how it works. Even many people who are long-time California residents may not understand or know much about this program. This article intends to explain some of the generalities about this particular tax credit. Simply put, the California Renter's Credit is a non-refundable credit worth sixty dollars (or a hundred and twenty dollars if you're married, filing jointly or a widow/widower) that can be applied to your California income tax if you've lived in a rental property for more than half the year, freeing up money that you might have to spend on renters insurance or other bills (find out how much this would cost in your area by clicking on the link).

You can only use this credit to offset your tax liability – if you didn't have any liability this year, you will be unable to claim the credit.

The Criteria to claim CA Renters Credit

The qualifications for claiming the nonrefundable California Renter's Credit include the following:

  • You must have been a resident of California in the previous tax year

  • You must have a California Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI, of less than a certain amount. At the time of writing this article (April 2015), single filers must earn less than $37,768 and married people filing jointly, heads of household, and qualified widows or widowers must earn less than $75,536.

  • You must have paid rent for at least half of the previous year for property that was your principal legal residence. This property must be in California.

  • You must not have lived with another person who is claiming you as a dependent, like a parent, for more than half the year.

  • You must not be a minor who is living with your parent, foster parent, or legal guardian.

  • Your rented property for more than half the year must not be one that was exempt from California property tax in that year.

  • Married filers must not have been granted a homeowners property tax exemption. Your spouse must also not have been given this exemption, unless you maintained separate residences for the entire year.

It is possible to receive this credit even if you did not not live in a rented unit for the entirety of the year, so long as you lived there more than six months. People who are receiving money through the Renter Assistance Program are also still eligible to get the California Renters Credit as long as they qualify in all other ways.

The amounts that you are eligible to receive if you meet all of the criteria are as follows:

Single Person - $60
Widower or Head of Household - $120
Married or Registered Domestic Partner who files separetely - $60
Married or Registered Domestic Partner who files jointly - $120

If you rent a home or apartment in California and don't make a lot of money, this credit can be very helpful. Being able to take any deduction on your taxes decreases the amount that you will have to pay that year. We all want to save money on our taxes. People who rented their homes in California for the past tax year have the option of taking a deduction that will allow them to do just that. Investigate whether or not you will qualify, or talk to your tax preparer if you have one about getting the California Renter's Credit.

The good news is that you can SAVE FAR MORE then the Renters Credit that you may be entitled to simply by changing your insurance policy.

Read our specialist guides to insurance in California below to find out the unique savings you could be making as a California resident.

California Insurance Guides

California Auto Insurance
In this comprehensive guide we discuss the details of California Auto Insurance and the auto insurance requirements that are specific to California.

California Life Insurance
Life Insurance is not something that you should leave to chance. And in this comprehensive guide to life insurance in California we explore everything that you need to know to get the best possible life insurance in the state.

California Home Insurance
It is important to properly protect any home that you do own in California with good home insurance cover. In this guide we explain everything that you need to know to do exactly that!

California Health Insurance
Our health is something that most of us take for granted UNTIL it is taken away from us. Medical Care can cost enormous amounts of money, and so it is vital to get good health cover that can protect you and your families health.

California Motorcycle Insurance
If you have the joy of riding a motorcycle through some of the amazing scenery of California, then it can be magical. But accidents can and do happen, and so it is best to be protected. In this guide we explain how to get the best cover for a great price.

California Pet Insurance
It's not just people that need health insurance! Find out here about pet insurance in California.

California Boat Insurance
Boat Insurance is a massive industry in California because leisure boating is such a popular pastime. Find out more here.

California Travel Insurance
If you live in California, but would be interested in travelling outside the country then you need to get some travel insurance sorted out to cover you. I discuss what you need.

California Renters Rights
In addition to looking at California Renters Credit, we also take the time to have a look at California Renters Rights and what you can expect as a renter in California.   Site Map - About Us - Contact Us - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy

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