For California Renters Credit - does the six months "principal" residence need to be the same residence for all six months?

 I was living in California from Jan - April on a lease, then I lived (non-resident) in Georgia from May - August for work, then I sublet an apartment in California from September to the end of the year. When added together I paid rent for over six months in California, where I was a resident and living, however I was only on a lease for Jan - April. Do I qualify?

Answer

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You can count the time you spent in the sublet apartment as time you were renting.  The six months does not have to be continuous.

California requires that in order to take the California Renter's Credit, the following must be true: 

  1. You were a California resident for the entire year.
  2. Your California adjusted gross income (AGI) is:
    • $38,259 or less if your filing status is single or married/RDP filing separately. 
    • $76,518 or less if you are married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, or qualified widow(er).
  3. You paid rent for at least half the year for property in California that was your principal residence.
  4. The property you rented was not exempt from California property tax.
  5. You did not live with another person for more than half the year (such as a parent) who claimed you as a dependent.
  6. You were not a minor living with and under the care of a parent, foster parent, or legal guardian.
  7. You or your spouse/RDP was not granted a homeowner's property tax exemption during the tax year. 
  • You may still qualify for the credit if your spouse/RDP claimed a homeowner's exemption and you maintained a separate residence for the entire year.

(From: FTB Webpage)

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