Will we qualify for the Senior Freeze?

Ask NJMoneyHelp

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Q. What happens with the Senior Freeze if we are different ages? My wife is 65 and I’m not. And do we have to combine income or does she just use hers as the applicant?
– Seniors

A. The Senior Freeze on property taxes, often referred to as a Property Tax Reimbursement, has very specific requirements.

Among them is that you or your spouse must be 65 or older, or actually receiving Social Security disability benefit payments, said Neil Becourtney, a certified public accountant and tax partner with CohnReznick in Eatontown.

Additionally, you must have lived in New Jersey continuously for at least the last 10 years, as either a homeowner or renter. You also must have owned and lived in your current home for at least the last three years, you have paid the full amount of property taxes due on your home and you have not exceeded the income limitation.

That’s a big sticking point for eligibility.

“For 2017, the income limitation is $87,268, which is based on combined income of a married homeowner,” Becourtney said. “This includes various income items not reportable on a New Jersey income tax return such as social security benefits, disability benefits, tax-exempt interest and unemployment compensation.”

But, Becourtney said, certain income items are excludible including any excludible gain from the sale of a principal residence and income tax refunds.

Hope you qualify!

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