Kansas Property Tax Relief for Low Income Seniors - Frequently Asked Questions
Safe Senior Spreadsheet - Automatically determine which claim results in the greater refund, Homestead or Safe Senior. Spreadsheet is in Excel, and may not work with versions 2003 and older.
These questions and answers apply to the 2016 claim.
What is "SAFE SENIOR"?
SAFE SENIOR is a property tax refund program that is administered under the provisions of the Kansas Homestead Act (property tax refund) by the Kansas Department of Revenue. SAFE SENIOR is also referred to as, "Kansas Property Tax Relief for Low Income Seniors".
Who qualifies for a SAFE SENIOR refund?
A Kansas resident all of 2016, who owned and occupied a home in Kansas during 2016, who was aged 65 years or older for all of 2016 (born before January 1, 1951) and who had a "household income" of $19,200 or less in 2016.
How much is the refund?
The refund is 75% of the 2016 general property tax paid or to be paid - as shown of the 2016 real estate tax statement for the residence in which the claimant lived in 2016. The 2016 property tax consists of the 1st half which is due Dec. 20, 2016 and the 2nd half which is due May 10, 2017. The 2016 property tax is the total of both the 1st and 2nd half taxes.
Must the 1st half of the property taxes be "timely and actually" paid in order to receive a SAFE SENIOR refund?
Yes, the 1st half of the 2016 general property taxes must be timely and actually paid.
The Homestead refund permits the homeowner to be delinquent in the payment of the taxes. The K-40H refund claim form allows the claimant to check a box that permits the Kansas Department of Revenue to send the refund check directly to the County Treasurer. Such an option is not available on the K-40PT SAFE SENIOR refund claim.
Is the SAFE SENIOR refund capped at $700 like the Homestead refund?
No. While there is no limit as to the amount of the SAFE SENIOR refund, the appraised value of the residence cannot exceed $350,000. SAFE SENIOR claimants with a 2016 general property tax of $936 or more will receive a SAFE SENIOR refund in excess of $700 ( $936 X .75 = $702).
May I receive a SAFE SENIOR refund if the appraised value of my home exceeds $350,000?
No. The appraised value of the home cannot exceed $350,000 in order to receive a SAFE SENIOR refund.
What is "household income" for SAFE SENIOR purposes?
Income for SAFE SENIOR purposes is the same as "household income" for Homestead refund purposes. It is generally all income - taxable and nontaxable - received by all household members during 2016 - TO INCLUDE 100% of Social Security Benefits received.
"Household Income" DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Social Security DISABILITY payments,
- SSI DISABILITY payments,
- Railroad DISABILITY payments or,
- Veterans DISABILITY payments.
"Household Income" DOES NOT INCLUDE: Social Security payments received by a person who, prior to attaining full retirement age (66 years) received social security disability payments. In other words - persons receiving social security disability payments prior to attaining full retirement age (age 66) will be able to continue to exclude all social security payments received after obtaining 66 years of age - from Household Income - for both Homestead and SAFE SENIOR purposes. For those individuals who filed a Homestead claim in prior years with the Kansas Department of Revenue on the basis of a disability, and received a Homestead refund, the department has on file all documentation with regard to the disability. Those claimants who are filing a Homestead or SAFE SENIOR refund for the first time and are wanting to exclude from Household Income Social Security payments will need to file Form DIS (which can be found in the Homestead Booklet or online on the Homestead page) or file a copy of their Social Security Disability Letter with their refund claim, establishing their disability with KDOR.
Is income reported on federal income tax return Schedule C, E, or F included as income for SAFE SENIOR purposes?
Yes. Although income reported on federal Schedule C, E, or F can be claimed as a subtraction modification for Kansas income tax purposes, thereby making this income exempt from Kanas income tax, there is no such adjustment for SAFE SENIOR purposes. Income reported on federal income tax return Schedule C, E, or F must be included as income on your SAFE SENIOR claim.
May I receive both a Homestead refund and a SAFE SENIOR refund?
No, a claimant may receive either a Homestead or a SAFE SENIOR refund but not both.
If I qualify for a SAFE SENIOR refund, should I also complete a Homestead refund claim in order to determine which refund claim will give me the largest refund?
Yes. Those who qualify for a SAFE SENIOR refund should also complete a Homestead refund claim in order to determine which refund claim will give them the largest refund. Once, it is determined which claim would provide the largest refund - FILE ONLY ONE REFUND CLAIM - either the SAFE SENIOR (K-40PT) or the Homestead (K-40H) - BUT NOT BOTH.
SAFE SENIOR claimants with a 2015 general property tax of $936 or more will receive a SAFE SENIOR refund in excess of $700 ( $936 X .75 = $702). Thus, those eligible for a SAFE SENIOR refund that has a property tax bill less than $936 should also complete a Homestead claim for refund comparison purposes.
Is there a worksheet or some other aid that will determine for me which refund claim (SAFE SENIOR or Homestead) would result in the largest refund?
Yes, the Kansas Department of Revenue free software found at www.webtax.org will automatically generate the largest refund (either SAFE SENIOR or Homestead).
Who can use the Kansas Department of Revenue's free software?
Anyone wanting to file a Kansas Individual Income Tax return or a Homestead/SAFE SENIOR refund.
If you are filing a Kansas Individual Income Tax return you must have a PIN (Personal Identification Number) or Access code. Your PIN/Access code is last year's refund amount or a seven digit number that can be found on the mailing label of the Kansas Homestead Booklet mailed to you this year. If you did not receive a Kansas Homestead Booklet, you may call 785-296-6993 to obtain a PIN.
If you are a first time filer for the Kansas Individual Income tax refund you may file electronically using the free software if you will be entering W-2 information. In other words, if you have never filed a Kansas Individual Income Tax return refund claim before you may electronically file the income tax return if you have W-2 information to enter.
If you are filing for a Homestead/SAFE SENIOR refund, you will not need a PIN.
The Kansas Individual Income Tax software program is a separate program from the Homestead/SAFE SENIOR software program. Persons receiving refund checks from both programs will receive two separate refund checks. One for income and one from Homestead/SAFE SENIOR.
What if I owned my home for only part of the year, and then rented an apartment for the balance of the year - may I receive a SAFE SENIOR refund?
Yes you may. There is no requirement that you had to live in the home all year long. However, your SAFE SENIOR refund will be limited to 75% of the 2016 property tax pro-rated for the period in which you lived in your home. You may not claim a SAFE SENIOR refund for the period of time you were a renter or were resided in a nursing home, boarding house, etc.
If a SAFE SENIOR claimant died on or after January 1, 2017, but before filing a claim, are the heirs eligible to obtain a refund?
Yes. The "decedent box" on Form K-40PT should be checked and the actual refund amount will be prorated based on the decedent's date of death. See the Homestead instructions for required enclosures (copy of death certificate, Form RF-9, etc.).
If a SAFE SENIOR claimant died before filing a claim (died on or after Jan. 1, 2016), are the heirs eligible to obtain a refund?
Yes. The "decedent box" on Form K-40PT should be checked. See the Homestead instructions for required enclosures (copy of death certificate, Form RF-9, etc.).
What form do I complete to obtain a SAFE SENIOR refund?
Form K-40PT - which is available from the Kansas Department of Revenue forms order line - 785-296-4937. The K-40PT Form and instructions are part of the Kansas Homestead booklet.
When must the SAFE SENIOR claim (Form K-40PT) be filed?
The Form K-40PT may be filed with the Kansas Department of Revenue anytime between January 1st and April 15th.
What is the mailing address?
Kansas Homestead Claim, Kansas Department of Revenue, 915 SW Harrison St., Topeka, KS 66699-2000.
May I participate in the "Refund Advancement Program" on the SAFE SENIOR claim Form K-40PT?
Yes. Form K-40PT allows the claimant to check a "Refund Advancement Program" box.
What is the "Refund Advancement Program"?
When a claimant checks the "Refund Advancement Program" box on the Form K-40PT, it authorizes the Kansas Department of Revenue to advise the County Treasurer of the county where the claimant resides that the claimant is eligible for an advancement. For example, a SAFE SENIOR claimant completes the Form K-40PT and checks the "Refund Advancement Program" box, and files it with the Kansas Department of Revenue between January 1, and April 15, 2017. Assume that the claimant is due a $1,000 SAFE SENIOR refund for 2016. Once the department receives and processes the Form K-40PT refund request, the department will issue a $1,000 refund check to the claimant. The department will also notify the County Treasurer in the County in which the claimant resides that the claimant is entitled to an advancement - in essence a loan - of up to $1,000 to be applied toward the payment of the 1st half of the 2017 property tax. The County Treasurer will reduce the claimant's 1st half of the 2017 property tax by $1,000 or the amount of the property tax, whichever is less. For example, if the claimant's 1st half of the property tax is $800, the County Treasurer will receive $800 from the Kansas Department of Revenue. Again, this is a loan - in essence the department has paid the 1st half of the 2017 property tax. The claimant then owes the Kansas Department of Revenue $800. The department will reduce the claimant's potential 2017 SAFE SENIOR (filed between January 1 and April 15, 2018) refund by $800. The claimant will want to file a 2017 SAFE SENIOR refund claim, and the department will reduce any potential refund by $800 as repayment for the $800 advanced to the County Treasurer for payment of the 1st half of the 2017 general property taxes.
If I received a Homestead Advancement that was applied against the 1st half of my 2016 property tax, will I be able to file a SAFE SENIOR refund claim between January 1, 2017 and April 15, 2017? And if so, will my SAFE SENIOR refund be reduced by the amount of the Homestead Advancement?
Yes. You may file a SAFE SENIOR refund claim between January 1, 2017 and April 15, 2017 even though you elected on the 2015 Homestead return to receive an advancement to apply against the 1st half of the 2016 property tax. Secondly, the Kansas Department of Revenue will reduce the 2016 SAFE SENIOR refund (filed between January 1, 2017 and April 15, 2017) by the amount of the 2015 Homestead Advancement. If the SAFE SENIOR refund is more than the amount owed the Kansas Department of Revenue for the Advancement, a refund check for the balance will be issued. If the SAFE SENIOR refund is less than the amount owed the Kansas Department of Revenue for the Advancement, a bill requesting payment will be issued.
Am I required to submit copies of my 2016 property tax statements when filing for a SAFE SENIOR refund?
No. Do not submit copies of your property tax statements to KDOR. Keep a copy in your records, as the department reserves the right to request a copy of the property tax statement at a later date - if needed.
May the SAFE SENIOR refund claim be filed electronically?
Yes, the SAFE SENIOR refund claim may be filed electronically by either a paid practitioner or a volunteer using Fed/State e-file program or, by using KDOR's own electronic filing option - found at www.webtax.org.
Can my SAFE SENIOR refund be direct deposited to my bank account?
Yes, those SAFE SENIOR refund claims which are electronically filed may be direct deposited to the claimant's bank account.