I worked out-of-state. Do we qualify for the Senior Freeze?

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Q. We have lived in our home in New Jersey for over 25 years. We believe we meet all requirements for the Senior Freeze. During 2014, my wife worked part-time in New Jersey while I worked and lived in Georgia. I was the primary earner and filed taxes in Georgia, while my wife paid the New Jersey real estate taxes. Do we still qualify?
— In Jersey for good

A. You’re right to question whether you’re eligible.

The Senior Freeze has several requirements, said Steven Gallo, a certified public accountant and personal financial specialist with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

These include that you must be 65 years of age. You must have lived and paid real estate taxes in New Jersey continuously since 2006, Gallo said, and you must have lived in the same home since 2013. Your combined income for 2017 must be less than $87,268, and your real estate tax payments must be current.

You can see more details on the requirements here. 

Gallo said he’s making several assumptions about your situation, including that when you worked in Georgia for the year in 2014, you did not give up your New Jersey residency – meaning that you kept your Jersey driver’s license and voted here in the story.

“According to your information, you worked temporarily out of state and filed what I assume was a non-resident tax return in Georgia,” he said. “I also assume that you filed a New Jersey resident tax return along with your wife for 2014, taking the credit for any taxes paid to the state of Georgia.”

If those assumptions are correct, you were still considered a New Jersey resident in 2014, Gallo said, therefore you are eligible for the Senior Freeze.

“Keep in mind that New Jersey only requires one spouse to satisfy all the requirements for the Senior Freeze and based on your facts, assuming your wife is 65, she would meet all the requirements,” Gallo said, noting that you didn’t say what your income was, so we hope you meet that requirement, too.

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