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What’s considered income for the Homestead Rebate?


Q. For the Homestead Rebate qualification, what specifically is considered income?
— Uncertain

A. It’s a great question.

First, let’s review the Homestead Rebate, which provides property tax relief to homeowners who meet certain criteria.

Generally, the money is distributed to your town and you are extended a property tax reduction, said Jody D’Agostini, a certified financial planner with Equitable Advisors/The Falcon Financial Group in Morristown.

To qualify, you must have been a New Jersey resident who has owned as well as occupied a home in the state as your primary residence on Oct. 1, 2018, she said.

If you were only a homeowner for a part of that year, but not on that date, you are not eligible, she said. If you were not required to pay property taxes, you are also not eligible, she said.

You must have paid property taxes during that year, she said.

Then there are income thresholds.

You must have earned $150,000 or less for homeowners age 65 or over or are blind or disabled. Otherwise, the income level is $75,000 or less for those less than age 65 and not blind or disabled.

So what income counts?

“The income used for the Homestead Rebate is from the New Jersey gross income reported on Line 29 of your NJ-1040,” D’Agostini said. “If you do not have any income, you would need to report `zero.’ Social Security and Railroad Retirement Benefits are not included in income.”

If you are married or in a civil union and file separately, you will need to report your combined income to see if you qualify for the rebate, D’Agostini said.

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This story was originally published on Oct. 25, 2021. 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.