02 Mar What property tax savings are available for seniors?
Q. Can you tell me what tax refund programs besides the Senior Freeze are available for New Jersey residents who are 65 and over and have owned a home here for three years.
A. You’re smart to want to take advantage of any property tax breaks available.
It’s good that you’re already aware of the Senior Freeze property tax reimbursement, but let’s briefly review that program for those who may not be.
The Senior Freeze is available to those 65 or older or disabled and receiving Social Security disability payments, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Peapack Private Wealth Management in New Providence.
Further, in order to be eligible, you must have lived continuously in New Jersey since Dec. 31, 2020, and owned your current New Jersey home since at least Dec. 31, 2017, she said.
Also, there is an income limit. For 2021, your income must have been $94,178 or less, she said.
“Application booklets are set to be mailed in mid-February 2022 for the 2021 year and are due no later than Oct. 31, 2022,” she said.
You can call the state with questions about the Senior Freeze at (800) 882-6597.
You may also be eligible for the Homestead Rebate, which in most cases, is seen as a credit against your property tax bill, usually for the second quarter, she said.
“This program, which runs a little behind current year filings, was due to be submitted by eligible taxpayers no later than Nov. 30, 2021, for the 2018 year,” she said. “Should this program be extended for 2019, you could expect applications to be mailed in September 2022, with a filing deadline more than likely of Nov. 30, 2022.”
To be eligible for the most recent filing for 2018, you must be a New Jersey resident who owned and occupied your home as a primary residence on Oct. 1, 2018, paid property taxes on the home and met income requirements, she said.
“For those 65 and older or blind or disabled that income threshold is $150,000 or less and for those under age 65 and not blind or disabled it’s $75,000 or less,” she said.
The Homestead Benefit Hotline is (888) 238-1233.
“Finally, there is a Property Tax Deduction/Credit to homeowners of either up to $15,000 of property taxes paid or a $50 refundable credit — refundable meaning that even if your tax liability is $0, you would still get the credit,” Fusillo said, noting that this is for your New Jersey tax return. “You claim whichever results in the greater tax benefit directly on your tax return.”
Also note that renters can also qualify for this deduction to the extent of 18% of their rent paid up to $15,000, she said.
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This story was originally published on March 2, 2022.
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