Chit Chat

Renter's Rebate? Please share your thoughts on my situation.

Here's the background: FI and I used to share an apartment with some college friends.  The apartment was through the school, and the rent was automatically split equally and charged to our student accounts.  Cool beans.

FI and I (as well as other roommates throughout 2012) got a fb message.  The friend who sent it wants to get a renters rebate.  He's the only one who qualifies out of all roommates.  I've never heard of this before.  Apparently he needs to get certain tax information from us.  One of the qualifications is that the total amount of income for EVERYONE in the household needs to be under a certain amount, which I know it is.  But I need to give him my tax/income information?  Eff that noise.

So, what's the deal with this?  Anyone have any additional information about this whole renter's rebate thing?  Honestly, I don't feel comfortable giving this type of information to anyone.  The fact that he wants to use all of us to get a refund really irks me.  Am I being unreasonable here?  Am I making too big a deal out of this?  What should I do?  Thanks!

ETA: I don't know if it matters or not, but FI and I only lived there the first half of 2012.  Another 2 roommates joined him for the second half of 2012. 

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Re: Renter's Rebate? Please share your thoughts on my situation.

  • I have never heard of this, but I'm with you. I wouldn't be handing out my personal financial information to anyone.
    shaylagirl
  • I would not be comfortable with that. It was hard enough going through all my financial information for my own mortgage.

    If he's the only one who qualifies, why does he need your tax info?
  • I wouldn't feel comfortable with it either, especially if he will be the only one benefiting from it.

    I would tell him that you are sorry but you do not feel comfortable sharing your tax and financial information with him that does not directly concern you.


  • Thanks!  I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who wouldn't be comfortable with this!  My FI and another roommate don't like it either.

    @misshart00-he needs to calculate the income for the whole household, broken down bit by bit (based on my research anyway).  I just don't like the idea of providing someone this information, even if he is a friend.

  • I wouldn't be giving him the info.  I don't even fill in the income box on anonymous surveys.  I'm confused as to why he will be the only one to get the refund. 

    Did he offer to split the refund with everyone when he receives it?  That would be the only way I would even consider it.  And my share would have to be substantial enough for me to give out the info.

  • I wouldn't give a friend or relative my financial info, it's no one's business. You could tell him to give the rebate agency your contact info, so it can get in touch with you directly. Then you can decide if it looks legitimate.
                       
  • misshart00misshart00 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited June 2013
    I get that they need To compile everyone in the households info to get an accurate picture, but I still don't understand why they need everyone's info since he'll be the only one getting anything back. If he's the only one who qualifies, they should only need his information.
  • It's weird, but it is legitimate.  He's the only one who qualifies (you can't be a dependent, and the rest of us are/were at the time).  Plus, only person per household is allowed this, which I don't understand.  I'm going to get more information.  I feel like since we were using college housing, this might not fly.  I'd rather find some rule that says we're not allowed to do it period, instead of just saying no.  I feel like somehow this won't be allowed. 

    One of the rules is that the total income of everyone in the household is less than $47,000 or something.  Clearly it will be, as we were all in college.  Just because we were in the same apartment doesn't make us a "household" which is one of the issues I'm having with this. 

    It's also weird because we weren't all roommates at the same time.  During 2012, I was there until May, FI until August, and then in August 2 new people moved on.  I just don't get how they're going to sort it out.

    I'm glad you guys don't get this either.  Normally I'm just really paranoid about these kinds of things, so I don't feel so crazy anymore!  There's no way I'm giving him any information.  FI won't either.  I feel used.

  • alk0511alk0511 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper
    edited June 2013
    Just a lurker chiming in...

    I lived in an apartment complex that was considered "affordable" renting (not Section 8 but it was built with govt funds).  When tax season started, they sent around a notice stating that the units in our complex did not qualify for the rental rebate, so tenants should not try to claim.  I can't what, exactly, the rebate was called...maybe Homestead but don't quote me, sorry.

    Since you say that this is housing provided by the college and deducted directly from your student account, I would imagine that your complex/unit would be exempt from tenants somehow benefiting from the housing rebate arrangement.  I would definitely look in to it further.

    And, to answer your original question, there is no way I'd be giving him my income information - especially since he's not splitting it with all roommates.  No way.

    ETA:  After re-reading your last post - it sounds like your roommate is trying to milk the system, in my opinion.  I doubt it's going to work.
  • It's weird, but it is legitimate.  He's the only one who qualifies (you can't be a dependent, and the rest of us are/were at the time).  Plus, only person per household is allowed this, which I don't understand.  I'm going to get more information.  I feel like since we were using college housing, this might not fly.  I'd rather find some rule that says we're not allowed to do it period, instead of just saying no.  I feel like somehow this won't be allowed. 

    One of the rules is that the total income of everyone in the household is less than $47,000 or something.  Clearly it will be, as we were all in college.  Just because we were in the same apartment doesn't make us a "household" which is one of the issues I'm having with this. 

    It's also weird because we weren't all roommates at the same time.  During 2012, I was there until May, FI until August, and then in August 2 new people moved on.  I just don't get how they're going to sort it out.

    I'm glad you guys don't get this either.  Normally I'm just really paranoid about these kinds of things, so I don't feel so crazy anymore!  There's no way I'm giving him any information.  FI won't either.  I feel used.

    As to the bolded: exactly! I don't think random roommates would legitimately count as a household, especially if you weren't all living there at the same time.
  • The laws are different here, but where I live university housing is ineligible for rent rebates because the university already receives a tax break on the property. Our rent rebates are supposed to be a refund of property taxes.

     

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  • I agree that it sounds sketchy and he should definitely be offering to at least share the rebate, BUT a group of people living together IS officially considered a household. Not a family, but a household. That's how the census classifies unrelated people living together under one roof (=household) versus family units (=family).
  • @doctorpreggo.  See, I'm not so sure if that's the case here.  If the most recent census happened while I was at this place, I still would have been listed with my home address as my primary residency.  My home has always been the official place of residency for everything where the government is concerned.

    I think I'm going to contact the college and get their thoughts on it.  I refuse to give him my info, but it will be so much easier if I have a concrete reason to support it.

  • What kind of rebate is this? If it's a tax rebate through the government, then you guys won't be part of his "household". If it isn't, I wouldn't trust it anyway. Regardless, I wouldn't give out my tax info directly to another individual. Even if this is legit, and you did for some reason want to help him out, I would send my info directly to wherever, once you determine it is legitimate.


    I think it might be a tax rebate.  Apparently he tried to get it, but the tax department refused without everyone else's information.  He needs all of our taxable and non-taxable income information. 

    But yeah, I'm just going to tell him no.  The fact that I'm not comfortable with it is a good enough reason in my book.  He won't be happy, but I don't really care.

    KeptInStitches[Deleted User]
  • @wittykitty14, Way to exercise your spine! I'm glad you're not giving him your info - who knows what else he might try to wheedle out of you?
  • @StageManager14-I think he's a mixture of the two

    @tarradesign-I'm trying to figure out what constitutes a "household" in my state.  I obviously can't belong to two different households.  Internet searches aren't giving me much help.  I really want to know what the rules are for other members of the household.  I can't find those anywhere. 

    And yeah, still saying "hell no" to this.  I'm just trying to figure out how to word it...

     

  • @StageManager14-I think he's a mixture of the two

    @tarradesign-I'm trying to figure out what constitutes a "household" in my state.  I obviously can't belong to two different households.  Internet searches aren't giving me much help.  I really want to know what the rules are for other members of the household.  I can't find those anywhere. 

    And yeah, still saying "hell no" to this.  I'm just trying to figure out how to word it...

     

    Well, the first question is whether this is a state or federal rebate.  

    He didn't say.  He just said he needs our taxable and non-taxable income info because that's what the tax department needs.  I'm assuming he's going through our state, but I couldn't tell you.
  • I'm not known for my tact, but I'd just go with "That won't be possible."

    It seems a little tiny bit nicer than "Hell no."
  • I think I would go as far as "I'm not comfortable giving that information out. Sorry."
  • @misshart00-That's pretty much what I was planning on saying.  Hopefully he doesn't press the issue. 

    He wrote everyone 2 days ago, saying he needed this within the next 27 days.  He said he would keep us posted with more information as he gets it.  I'll probably wait to tell him until he asks again for it or gives more info.

  • If it is a rent rebate it is through state government. Isn't it too late for taxes anyways?
    Anniversary
  • Now I want to know what other info he's going to give you.
    [Deleted User]
  • If it is a rent rebate it is through state government. Isn't it too late for taxes anyways?
    They have an extended deadline for the renter rebates.  I believe the state website said October...which is more than a month away.  That part I don't get.
  • Now I want to know what other info he's going to give you.

    I can provide more as it comes in if you want!  He said that it's been taking forever to get the tax dept to respond to him.  He was going to find out if there were any specific forms and things like that.
  • wittykitty14wittykitty14 member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2013
    Are you in Vermont, by chance?  The state of Vermont statute 6061 (definitions) states that...

    A person who is not related to any member of the household and who is residing in the household under a written homesharing agreement pursuant to a nonprofit homesharing program or a person residing in a household who is hired as a bona fide employee to provide personal care to a member of the household and who is not related to the person for whom the care is provided shall not be considered to be a member of the household.



    You're awesome, Stage!  Yes, I am indeed from Vermont!  Where the heck did you find that?  My google searches turned up next to nothing.

    So, does this apply to me?  I'm confused because of the "household under a written homesharing agreement pursuant to a nonprofit homesharing program".   I really can't comprehend "fancy" stuff.  But that's me, right?  We were in an apartment through the college that we all signed a lease for.

    This may be in the answer I'm looking for!  Thank you!

    ETA: I found the source by looking the number up!  AWESOME!  As long as it applies to me, then this is fantastic!

  • That would irk me too, and I think this guy is really wrong to request that information from anyone. I wouldn't give it out if I were you, and I've never heard of a renter's rebate, but I don't live in the US, which I'm guessing is where you're from.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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