Renters have until October 1 of the year in which the credit is sought to apply, but it is advantageous to file as early as possible.
Click HERE to file your 2020 Renters' Tax Credit online.
You may also click here to download the 2020 Renters' Tax Credit application in a PDF format. Please be certain your computer has the free Adobe Reader, or other PDF reader software available to access the application. Once completed, applications should be mailed to:
Please do not email any tax credit applications to the Department containing personal information, such as social security numbers and/or income tax returns. Instead, please mail your completed application and supporting documents to the Department, so your personal information remains confidential.
The property tax relief a renter may receive is based upon a comparison of the assumed real property tax in the yearly rent minus a percentage of the household income as shown here:
Estimating your own tax credit can be done by taking these three steps. Remember, the key to the plan is your rent in relationship to your income. The plan assumes that 15% of your occupancy rent goes toward the payment of property taxes. Occupancy rent does not include charges for heat, utilities, or any other fees paid with the rent.
The amount of the renters' tax credit will vary according to the relationship between the rent and income, with the maximum allowable credit being $1,000. Those found eligible for a credit as determined by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation will receive a check directly from the State Treasury. Anyone who is found ineligible will be notified in writing and given the reason why.
IMPORTANT: If 15% of your occupancy rent is more than the tax limit amount shown on the schedule below for your income, you are urged to file a Renters' Tax Credit application.
Please be advised that SDAT’s Tax Credits office located at State Center in Baltimore will be closed to the public until further notice. The Department strongly enocurages online filing when possible, since applications filed online will be processed significantly faster than those filed by mail. Applications will be reviewed 60-90 days after they are submitted.
New: Renters' Tax Credit applications can now be filed online!
The Renters' Tax Credit Program provides property tax credits for renters who meet certain requirements. The plan was modeled after and designed to be similar in principle to the Homeowners' Tax Credit Program, which is known to many as the Circuit Breaker Program. The concept rests on the reasoning that renters indirectly pay property taxes as part of their rent and thus should have some protection, as do homeowners.
The plan is based upon the relationship between rent and income. If the portion of rent attributable to the assumed property taxes exceeds a fixed amount in relation to income, the renter can, under specified conditions, receive a credit of as much as $1,000. The credit is paid as a direct check from the State of Maryland.
The rented dwelling may be an apartment in an individual house or any type of apartment building, duplex, co-op, condominium, house trailer, or mobile home pad. The dwelling must be the principal residence in Maryland and the renter must live there at least six months of the year. You are only eligible to receive a tax credit for rent paid in the State of Maryland.
The applicant must have a bona fide leasehold interest in the property and be legally responsible for the rent. If the dwelling that is rented is owned by a tax exempt, charitable organization or is exempt in any way from property taxation, a tax credit cannot be granted.
COMBINED INCOMES: Credits are calculated according to total income, meaning all combined gross household income before deductions. This includes income from all sources, whether or not taxable for federal and state income tax purposes. It also includes Social Security as well as all other retirement benefits.
If you are age 60 or over or 100% disabled, use the chart below to determine if it is worthwhile for you to file an application.
The rent in Chart 1 assumes that you pay all your own utilities separate from the monthly rent. If the rent includes gas, electric and heat, you may need to have as much as 18% higher monthly rent to qualify for a credit.
Trailer park residents are advised to submit an application and allow this office to determine eligibility.
Chart 1 is a guide only, and the exact amount of your income and rent will be used to determine your eligibility. If you submit an application, the State will determine your eligibility.
If you are a renter under the age of 60 who, during 2019, had at least one dependent under the age of 18 living with you AND you did not receive federal or state housing subsidies or reside in public housing AND the combined income of all residents of your dwelling is below the following guidelines, you are encouraged to apply.
Note: If you think you qualify based on the income limits on the above chart, you are encouraged to apply. The State will determine your eligibility using the above chart and the formula that compares rent and income (See Chart 1).
301 W. Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201-2395