Homestead Benefit Information for Homeowners
Age 65 or Older and/or Disabled on December 31, 2011
If you were age 65 or older and/or disabled on December 31, 2011, you are eligible for a 2011 New Jersey homestead benefit if your domicile (or permanent legal residence) is in New Jersey and you meet the following conditions:
- Owned and occupied a home in New Jersey that was your principal residence on October 1, 2011;
- Have New Jersey gross income for 2011 of $150,000 or less before exemptions and deductions. This does not include income that is not subject to New Jersey gross income tax such as Social Security, Railroad Retirement benefits, or unemployment compensation. View list of other nontaxable income. The $150,000 income limit applies to a single individual, a married/civil union couple living in the same residence, and a married/civil union partner maintaining a residence separate from their spouse/civil union partner.
- The home must have been subject to local property taxes, and 2011 property taxes must have been paid. However, under the terms of the State Budget the 2011 benefit will be calculated using 2006 property taxes.
If you were not a homeowner on October 1, 2011, you are not eligible for a 2011 homestead benefit, even if you owned a home for part of the year.
New Jersey residents are not eligible for a homestead benefit if no property taxes are paid on their dwellings. This includes:
- Homeowners completely exempt from paying property taxes on their principal residence. This can include certain disabled veterans and their unmarried surviving spouses/surviving civil union partners/surviving domestic partners who may claim a 100% exemption from local property taxes under certain conditions.
- Homeowners who made P.I.L.O.T. (Payments-in-Lieu-of-Tax) payments to their municipality. These payments are not considered property taxes for purposes of the homestead benefit.
How to File
Most homeowners will file their applications either online or by phone (1-877-658-2972). Homeowners who need to file a paper application can request one through either of the automated filing systems after entering their ID and PIN. The Internet and automated phone filing systems are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The filing deadline was December 14, 2012.
Most eligible homeowners will receive their homestead benefit for 2011 in the form of a credit applied to their property tax bills in May 2013. Those homeowners can expect to receive a revised property tax bill or advice copy from their tax collector that will reflect the amount of the benefit. However, any homestead benefit for which you are eligible will be issued in the form of a check (or direct deposit) in May 2013, if (1) your principal residence was a unit in a co-op or continuing care retirement community or (2) you stated in your application that you no longer own the property that was your principal residence on October 1, 2011.
The amount of the benefit is based on an applicant’s income, filing status, property taxes, and whether the applicant was age 65 or older or eligible to claim an exemption as blind or disabled for tax year 2011. Under the terms of the State Budget the 2011 benefit will be calculated using 2006 property taxes. In addition, the 2011 benefit amount cannot exceed the homestead rebate amount paid for 2006 unless there has been a change in an applicant’s filing characteristics. “Filing characteristics” means a reduction in income range, a change in age/disability status or filing status, or an increase in percentage of ownership.
Amounts received under the Homestead Benefit Program are in addition to the State’s other property tax relief programs. The total amount of all property tax relief benefits received (homestead benefit, property tax reimbursement, property tax deduction for senior citizens/disabled persons, and property tax deduction for veterans) cannot exceed the amount of property taxes paid on the applicant’s principal residence for the same year.
Under New Jersey law, if an applicant receives a benefit that is larger than the amount for which they are eligible, the applicant will be required to repay any excess received. The amount owed can be deducted from the applicant’s homestead benefit or income tax refund or credit before the payment is issued.
Send an e-mail about your Homestead Benefit
Information for Homeowners Under Age 65 and NOT Disabled