Senior Freeze on Property Tax Increases New Jersey Property Tax Reimbursement Program Could you be eligible for a reimbursement check?October 13, 2015

Senior citizens and disabled New Jersey residents may be eligible to apply for the Property Tax Reimbursement program (commonly known as “Senior Freeze”). This program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax increases on their principal residence.

Eligibility

To be eligible for 2014 Senior Freeze, the individual must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The individual’s total annual income (combined if the individual was married or in a civil union and lived in the same home) did not exceed $84,289 in year 2013 and did not exceed $70,000 in year 2014.
  2. The income requirement takes into account all income that the individual received during the year, with exceptions. A list of these exceptions can be found on the NJ Treasury Dept. website: www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr/income.shtml.
  3. The individual (or his/her spouse/civil union partner) were either (i) age 65 or older as of Dec. 31, 2013, or (ii) receiving Social Security disability benefits as of Dec. 31, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014;
  4. The individual lived in New Jersey continuously since Dec. 31, 2003 or earlier;
  5. The individual owned and lived in his/her current home since Dec. 31, 2010 or earlier;
  6. The individual paid the full amount of the property taxes due on his/her home for year 2013 by June 1, 2014 and for year 2014 by June 1, 2015; and
  7. The application must be completed and filed prior to Oct. 15, 2015. Generally, the filing deadline is June 1st, but for the 2014 Senior Freeze the filing deadline was extended until Oct. 15th.

How to Apply

If You Are Applying for the First Time or You Filed an Application for the 2013 Senior Freeze & Was Denied Due to Ineligibility – Use Form PTR-1

A Form PTR-1 should be used if (1) the individual meets the above eligibility requirements and has never previously applied for the Senior Freeze, or (2) the individual filed an application for the 2013 Senior Freeze but was denied due to ineligibility.

If You Filed an Application for the 2013 Senior Freeze & Met the Eligibility Requirements – Use Form PTR-2

A Form PTR-2 should be used if the individual filed an application for the 2013 Senior Freeze and met all of the eligibility requirements. Form PTR-2 is a personalized application and is not available online. If the individual does not receive a Form PTR-2 in the mail, a call to the Senior Freeze Hotline (1-800-882-6597) can be made to request the form and to obtain further information.

Note: The original income limit for the 2014 Senior Freeze was $85,553 but was changed to $70,000 due to the amount appropriated for the program in the State Budget for FY 2016. If you have already applied based on the $85,553 limit and you do not qualify under the $70,000, you will not receive a reimbursement but you will have established eligibility for future years with your applications.

Benefit

 The Senior Freeze is a good program to keep in mind for clients, friends, or yourself who could be eligible or who may soon be eligible. According to a New Jersey Department of the Treasury Press Release, last year over 172,000 senior and disabled New Jersey residents received Senior Freeze checks that averaged almost $1,200 per recipient. For more information, visit www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr to read more about the program and contact an attorney regarding the current laws.

If you would like to speak to an attorney about tax or estate planning and/or you have any questions regarding this Memorandum, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Brach Eichler estate planning team: Stuart M. Gladstone (973.403.3109 or sgladstone@bracheichler.com); David J. Ritter (973.403.3117 or dritter@bracheichler.com); Susan K. Dromsky-Reed (973.403.3146 or sdromsky-reed@bracheichler.com) or Jay J. Freireich (973.364.5206 or jfreireich@bracheichler.com).

Attorney Advertising: This publication is designed to provide Brach Eichler, L.L.C. clients and contacts with information they can use to more effectively manage their businesses. The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. Neither this publication nor the lawyers who authored it are rendering legal or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters. Brach Eichler, L.L.C. assumes no liability in connection with the use of this publication.

Related Practices: Tax and Trusts & Estates

Attorney: Cheryl Ritter

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