Positively 50+: Tax Circuit Breaker and Renter Relief

Jan 31, 2024, 1:02 PM | Updated: 1:16 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — We’re all looking for ways to stretch our finances through discounts and deals but for those who are a little older and on a fixed income, the need is that much greater.
There is a lesser-known state program to help seniors out to the tune of hundreds of dollars.

For seniors like Blanche Rollins, the idea of getting a little monetary boost out of the blue was a nice surprise.

“I thought wow, you mean I can really get some help right now when I need it,” Rollins said.

That help came in the form of a $575 check. And Rollins doesn’t want you to waste the chance to get a break from a program known as “Circuit Breaker.”

“It’s so important for the elderly to age in place. It’s the place they’re most comfortable. It’s the place they have their own home and support network. And so we’re really looking to keep people in their homes.”

Joe Hirabayashi with AARP said while it might not seem like a life-changing amount, a few hundred to over a thousand dollars a year really adds up.

“If you’re on a fixed income it can be a significant boost to your budget.”

Thousands of Utah homeowners take advantage of the program annually but renters might not know that they can get a refund, too. That’s why people like Jerry Schmidt, who made a career of helping seniors make ends meet, has made it his mission to shout the program’s benefits, if not from the rooftops, from the Utah Capitol steps. His YouTube videos can be a big help.

So what qualifies you to take advantage of “Circuit Breaker” or the “Renter Refund” programs?
You have to be older than 65 or a widow or widower of any age. You have to live in Utah the whole calendar year. You can’t be claimed as anyone’s dependent and there are certain income requirements.

The specifics can be found on the Utah State Tax Commission Website.

“I’d love to see people email their legislators to let them know how vital this program is. If you really think about it, most of us know someone who is struggling and who could benefit from this program,” Hirabayashi said.

AARP wants everyone to take advantage so that lawmakers keep efforts like this one top of mind ultimately offering people like Rollins peace of mind.

“It really, really helped because I had had some major financial challenges right at that point,” he said. “So that was really special.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Positively 50+

AARP tax preparation...

Dan Spindle

AARP volunteers offer free tax help for seniors

Summer, winter, spring, or fall - No matter which season is your favorite, we can all agree that tax season is the worst.

17 days ago

A person putting money into a charity bucket....

Dan Spindle

Positively 50+: Protecting yourself against ‘charity scams’

As it's the most giving time of year, it's good to make sure that you are donating to the right places for the right causes.

2 months ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Dan Spindle

Helpers with mobile pantry at Midvale Elementary know need has no season

Around the holidays so many of us start thinking about giving our time and talents to those who need it the most. But for volunteers with the Utah Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry, it’s a need that knows no season.

4 months ago

(KSL TV)...

Dan Spindle

Suazo Business Center is helping get people’s ideas up and going

If you have an idea, and don't know where to start, the Suazo Business Center can offer you the help you need.

4 months ago

One of the volunteers of the Foster Grandparents holding up a promotional sign....

Dan Spindle and Michael Houck, KSL TV

P50+: A lasting legacy of learning

A national volunteer program is looking for more grandmas and grandpas to help the nation's youth with their growth.

5 months ago

(KSL TV)...

Dan Spindle

Local nonprofit helping people care for their pets and themselves

What if you had to make a decision to take care of yourself or take care of your pets? Would you forgo major medical procedures if it meant that your dogs or cats wouldn’t be cared for?

6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Positively 50+: Tax Circuit Breaker and Renter Relief