Seniors warned about tax credit scams

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Missouri Department of Revenue is cautioning all seniors and disabled Missourians to be aware of possible scams involving the filing of a Property Tax Credit (PTC) claim.

Scams involving the PTC, formerly known as the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit, frequently target seniors and the disabled. Scam arts often pose as trustworthy helpers and can be friends, family members or caregivers.

Tips and reminders to help citizens protect themselves from potential fraud are listed below.

* Filing a PTC claim requires personal information. It is critical that the filers know that their tax return preparer is someone they can trust.

* If not using a professional tax return preparer, filers need to use trusted sources of assistance when filling out claims. Well-established assistance providers include the local Area Agency of Aging, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Missouri Department of Revenue Tax Assistance Centers, AARP, local senior centers or other providers of community services to older adults or people with disabilities.

* If someone asks for information to help with a benefits application, make sure they can explain why that information is needed and how it will be used once the application has been completed.

* The State of Missouri never charges filers a fee to apply for a PTC.

* Neither Medicare or Medicaid information is required to complete a PTC.

* Be wary of people who make offers involving PTC that seem too good to be true.

The Missouri PTC is a credit for certain senior citizens and 100 percent disabled individuals for a portion of the real estate taxes or rent they paid during the previous year. The credit is for a mximum of $750 for renters and $1,100 for individuals who own and occupy their home. The actual credit is based on the amount of real estate taxes or rent paid and total household income. Renters who rent from facilities that do not pay property taxes are not eligible for a PTC.

Individuals who are victims of PTC fraud or have information about tax crimes are encouraged to call the Department of Revenue's Criminal Tax Investigation Bureau Jefferson City office at 573-751-4689 or email

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