You are eligible for a $6,000 exemption ($3,000 for Tax Years 2017 and 2018) on your New Jersey Income Tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or any time before the last day of the tax year. Your spouse (or civil union partner) is also eligible for an exemption if they are a veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances and you are filing a joint return. This exemption is in addition to any other exemptions you are entitled to claim and is available on both the resident and nonresident returns. You cannot claim this exemption for a domestic partner or for your dependents. Note: This exemption can only be claimed by qualifying veterans. It does not pass through to a surviving spouse.
Claiming the Exemption
Claiming the Veteran Exemption for a Deceased Spouse
If your spouse died during the tax year, you can claim the deceased spouse’s veteran exemption if:
You may need to provide proof of eligibility.
You will not be able to claim the veteran exemption for your spouse in any subsequent year.
You (and/or spouse, if applicable) must provide official documentation showing that you were honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty the first time you claim the exemption. The most common form of documentation provided is a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214, The United States National Archives and Records Administration can assist with obtaining a copy of your DD-214. We can only accept documentation that lists your characteristic of service (discharge). You only need to submit a copy of your records the first time you claim the exemption, you do not need to provide this documentation each year.
Note: We cannot approve your claim for the exemption until we receive the requested documentation.
Once we receive information that you qualify for the exemption, we will provide a letter of receipt confirming your eligibility. Letters will be sent in January the first year you meet the qualifications. Tax Year 2019 letters will be issued after January 1, 2020. It is not necessary to send us a copy of an email, letter, or confirmation number to claim the Veteran Exemption.
If you do not certify before you file for the exemption, you will need to submit documentation showing that you were honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty when you file using:
Note for Tax Practitioners: A confirmation number only indicates that an applicant successfully uploaded documentation into a processing repository. It is not proof that a taxpayer is eligible to claim the exemption. It is not necessary to send us a copy of an email, letter, or confirmation number to claim the Veterans Exemption.
What to do if you received a notice about this exemption, but are not eligible.
We use several methods to find eligible veterans and invite them to apply for the exemption, including matching our records with those of municipalities. This process may lead to some ineligible people receiving notices asking them to apply. If you know you do not qualify, disregard any such notice.
Note for surviving spouses: It is important to remember that this exemption, unlike the $250 Veterans Deduction, can only be claimed by the surviving spouse if the qualifying spouse passed away in the current tax year. You cannot claim this exemption if your spouse passed away before the current tax year.