I missed the Homestead Rebate deadline. What now?

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Q. I was denied the 2016 Homestead Rebate because I filed late. The application was literally lost under a pile of “too much to do” on my desk. How can they deny it to us under any circumstances?
— Unhappy homeowner

A. We can relate to that “too much to do” pile on your desk, but we’re afraid that won’t cut it.

A deadline is a deadline.

Generally, tax refunds are not issued unless the taxpayer files a tax return requesting the tax refund that they are entitled to receive, said Neil Becourtney, a certified public accountant and tax partner with CohnReznick in Eatontown.

He said for income tax purposes, an individual taxpayer has three years from the due date of the federal and New Jersey income tax return to file for a refund.

“If a taxpayer fails to file their federal or New Jersey personal income tax returns within this three-year time frame, they will lose out on any tax refunds to which they were entitled,” he said.

Unfortunately, the New Jersey Homestead Benefit program is based on income thresholds that need to be verified, requiring eligible homeowners to file a form each year with the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

The deadline for filing a 2016 Homestead Benefit application was Nov. 30, 2018.

The application called for the entry of your 2016 gross income, which could not have exceeded $150,000 if age 65 or older or blind or disabled, or $75,000 if under age 65 and not blind or disabled, Becourtney said.

This is explained in detail on the Division of Taxation’s website.

Unfortunately, you’re out of luck.

“In the future, I recommend that you file it the day it arrives in your mail,” Becourtney said. “I file the form for a few of my elderly clients who forward their forms to me – it only takes about five minutes to complete.”

Email your questions to moc.p1568957400leHye1568957400noMJN1568957400@ksA1568957400.

This story was originally published on July 11, 2019.

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