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Inside FTB

Thousands eligible for Homeowner and Renter Assistance

In early July, we began mailing forms to more than 600,000 Californians who may be eligible to receive payments from California's Homeowner and Renter Assistance (HRA) Program. State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang noted that last year’s program provided $181 million directly to blind, disabled, or elderly Californians.

The HRA program began July 1, and runs through October 15. To qualify, applicants must:

  • Have household income of $44,096 or less last year.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, designated alien, or qualified alien when the claim is filed.
  • Be blind, disabled or over the age of 62 on December 31, 2007.
  • Have owned and lived in their home at the end of 2007 (if claiming homeowner assistance).
  • Have paid at least $50 a month in rent, and lived in property that was not tax-exempt (if claiming renter assistance).

Assistance payments range from $15 to $347 for renters, and $20 to $472 for homeowners, depending on the claimant's total income.

Volunteer assistance sites are available for individuals who would like free help completing a claim form. These sites helped more than 75,000 Californians last year. To find a claim form or view a list of volunteer assistance locations, visit our HRA website. Forms and information on the program are available on our website in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese, in addition to English.

Qualified individuals also have the option of delaying their property tax payments through the Property Tax Postponement Program, offered through the State Controller’s Office. For more information about this program, visit the State Controller's website.

Once California’s state budget is signed, FTB will begin clearing HRA claims for payment.

Incorrect phone number on back of 2008 HRA booklet

A new guidelines page was included on the back page instructing claimants to call 800.868.4717 if they moved. The phone number is incorrect. The correct phone number is 800.868.4171.

Claimants who may try to dial the incorrect number are connected to the following recording: “If you are trying to reach the Franchise Tax Board’s Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program, please call 800.868.4171.”

You can also refer your clients who are HRA claimants to our website, where they can get translated and online versions of the Homeowner and Renter Assistance claim booklets.

Correction to June 2008 Tax News

The article “RDPs may receive underpayment of estimated tax penalty in error” in the section “Inside FTB” on page 11 lists an incorrect phone number.

  • Incorrect number: 800.852.7511.
  • Correct number: 800.852.5711. 

We regret any inconvenience this may have caused. Please make sure you change your records to the correct phone number.