Property tax, rent rebates arriving early to help seniors, others during COVID-19 pandemic, Wolf announced

Coronavirus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf and Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced that many older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities will receive early rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

Rebates are typically issued starting July 1, but the governor and treasurer are issuing the rebates starting tomorrow to approved applicants. The governor also signed HB 1076 today, which authorizes the early distribution.

The distribution of rebates by the Department of Revenue and Treasury is different than in prior years. Rather than a large distribution of rebates on July 1, rebates will be processed and distributed on a first-in-first-out basis. This gradual process means some claimants will receive their rebates earlier than others.

“This commonsense solution gives thousands of our older and vulnerable residents their rebates early when they need it,” said Governor Wolf. “I thank members of the General Assembly and Treasurer Torsella for working quickly on this issue so that we can provide this needed financial support. We also want everyone who is eligible for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program to know that the application deadline for the program has been extended so that everyone has the time they need to take advantage of the program. The deadline to submit applications is now Dec. 31, 2020.”

Applicants who included their bank account information on their Property Tax/Rent Rebate application form (PA-1000) will receive their rebates through direct deposit. Applicants who requested a paper check to be mailed to them should expect to receive their payment in the mail.

Tips for Checking the Status of Your Rebate
The Department of Revenue is asking claimants to keep in mind that its main call centers are operating in a limited capacity due to the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. As a result, claimants are encouraged to use online tools and other automated resources to check the status of their rebates or ask a question.

  • Claimants who already applied for rebates may use the Where’s My PA Property Tax/Rent Rebate? tool to check the status of their rebate. You will need your Social Security number, claim year and date of birth to use this tool.
  • Call 1-888-PATAXES to check the status of your rebate. This automated toll-free service is available 24 hours a day. You will need your Social Security number, date of birth and the anticipated amount of your rebate to use this service. 
  • Claimants who included their phone number on their Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application form (PA-1000) will receive automated calls from the Department of Revenue updating them on the status of their claim. Claimants should know that these automated phone calls require no further action. They will not be asked to key in any numbers or to provide any additional information.
  • Claimants can visit the department’s Online Customer Service Center to find helpful tips and answers to commonly asked questions about the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The Online Customer Service Center also allows you to submit a question to a Department of Revenue representative through a secure process that is similar to sending an email.

Steps to Follow if You Haven’t Submitted Your Application 
For eligible applicants who have yet to file their Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application, the Department of Revenue is offering help for those who need it. Eligible claimants are encouraged to call 1-888-222-9190 for guidance. Please keep in mind that department staff will work as quickly as possible to help claimants with their applications.

Applicants are encouraged to obtain the Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim form (PA-1000) and related information on the Department of Revenue’s website.

The deadline for older adults and Pennsylvania residents with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2019 was extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2020.

“As public officials, all of us in state government are working to find every way we can to help Pennsylvanians get through this health and financial crisis,” said Torsella. “Older folks and our less well-off neighbors rely on the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for help. They’re also among those bearing the heaviest burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was proud to lead the team at Treasury in working with the Governor’s team and the General Assembly, particularly Representatives White and Solomon, to find a way to get these payments out as early as we can, and into the hands of the Pennsylvanians who need them. I am grateful for their collective leadership and cooperation on this issue.”

About the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
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. It is free to apply for a rebate.

The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Department of Revenue automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.

More than $255 million in property tax and rent rebates were sent to almost 532,000 homeowners and renters across the state for property taxes and rent paid in 2017. This is the most recent data available for a full calendar year.

Since the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $6.9 billion in property tax and rent relief. The program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery and revenue from slots gaming.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Map

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Events Calendar