Mom’s Senior Freeze form got lost. What can we do?

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Q. My mother mailed a PTR-2 for the Senior Freeze last October 2018 for the 2017 benefit and it was lost in the mail. They said we then had to mail the PTR-1 for 2018 and PTR-2 2017 so the base year would be carried forward. Then they denied 2017. What can we do?
— Trying to help

A. There’s often confusion about applying for the Senior Freeze, a property tax relief program.

Let’s play out how it works.

The purpose of the program is to reimburse eligible participants for any property tax increases that happen once they’re in the program.

Participants will get the difference between their base year – the year first of eligibility – property tax amount and the current year property tax amount, as long as the current year is higher than the base year and they met all other eligibility requirements, said Matt Mignon, a certified financial planner with RegentAtlantic in Morristown.

Let’s start with the PTR-1 and PTR-2 Forms. These are the forms you file with the state to participate in the program.

“The PTR-1 is the application used by first-time applicants or for those who must reestablish themselves back into the Senior Freeze program,” he said. “This form establishes your base year property tax amount, which is used to calculate the reimbursement going forward.”

You must meet the eligibility requirements for two consecutive years to establish a base year, Mignon said.

The PTR-2 is the application used by applicants who have an established base year property tax amount. You must file this form each year by the filing deadline in order to receive reimbursement and to maintain your base year property tax amount, he said.

So all this means Form PTR-1 should only be filed if you are new to the Senior Freeze program or if you need to reestablish yourself back into the program, which resets your base year moving forward, Mignon said.

It appears your mother’s base year was going to be changed to 2018 because you filed a PTR-1 for 2018, and this is likely the discrepancy between your math and the state’s math, he said.

You should try calling the Senior Freeze hotline at (800) 882-6597 or work with a tax professional to figure out your specific situation.
You may be able to appeal the decision. You can learn more about that here.

Email your questions to moc.p1573567466leHye1573567466noMJN1573567466@ksA1573567466.

This story was originally published on Aug. 30, 2019.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.