What income determines if we get ANCHOR if we’re not married?

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Q. My significant other and I each own 50% of our principal residence. We received an ANCHOR benefit postcard with both names on it. Each of us had incomes below $250,000. Our combined incomes exceed $250,000. How can we file individually when our postcard seems to be for a married couple?
— Homeowner

A. Good question.

The new ANCHOR property tax benefit has homeowners and renters asking a lot of questions.

If you’re a homeowner and your 2019 gross income was up to $150,000, you will get $1,500. If you had gross income between $150,000 and $250,000, you will get up to $1,000. Renters are included, too. Those with 2019 gross income of $150,000 or less will receive $450.

Eligibility is based on how taxpayers file their income tax return, the state Treasury Department said.

“If a couple is unmarried and file individually, their ANCHOR eligibility will be based on their individual incomes, so each could earn up to $250,000 and receive a rebate,” it said.

Let’s go over the income limits.

Income isn’t the only eligibility factor, though.

Unlike the Homestead Rebate, which this benefit replaces, age is not a factor.

You must have owned a house or condominium before Oct. 1, 2019 and paid property taxes, or as a renter, you must have rented an apartment, condominium, house, or rented or owned a mobile home located in a mobile home park on Oct. 1, 2019.

If you were a resident shareholder of a cooperative housing complex or a resident of a continuing care retirement community, where your contract requires you to pay property taxes on your unit, you are also considered a homeowner.

You don’t qualify if as a homeowner, you had income of more than $250,000 or as a renter, you had income of more than $150,000.

Those whose residences were exempt from paying property taxes, or those who made P.I.L.O.T. (payments-in-lieu-of-tax) payments, are not eligible.

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This story was originally published on Oct. 13, 2022.

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