You May Qualify for a Renter’s Tax Deduction

April 15th is fast approaching and everyone is searching for deductions that they can claim on their tax returns.  California renters who meet income and other requirements, can apply for a Nonrefundable Renter’s Credit of $60 (if filing separately) or $120 (if filing jointly).  Since mobile home owners rent their space they may qualify for the tax deduction.

The following must be met in order to qualify:

  1. You were a California resident for the entire year.
  2. Your California adjusted gross income is: $41,641 or less if your filing status is single or married filing separately. $83,282 or less if you are married filing jointly, head of household, or qualified widow(er).
  3. You paid rent for at least half of the year for property in California that was your principal residence.
  4. The property you rented was not exempt from California property tax
  5. You did not live with another person for over half of the year (such as a parent) who claimed you as a dependent.
  6. You were not a minor living with and under the care of a parent, foster parent, or legal guardian.
  7. You or your spouse were not granted a homeowner’s property tax exemption during the tax year.

Other deductions you may also be able to claim include home office deductions, job hunting costs and charitable giving.  If you have a home office that is used exclusively for business, you may be able to allocate a percentage of your rent, utilities, renter’s insurance and other expenses as a tax deduction.  Remember, if you do have a home office, make sure you are complying with all of the rules of the mobile home community in which you live.  If you looked for a new job, you may be able to get an income tax deduction for your job-search related costs such as the cost for resumes and postage, telephone charges and local travel for interviews.  And last, if you donated your time or goods to a charity, you may be able to deduct the value of the items you donated, the miles you traveled and the expenses you paid on behalf of the charity.

Be sure to check with your tax advisor or tax preparer to see if you qualify for the Nonrefundable Renter’s Credit or other deductions.  You may also contact the California Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711.