What is the Senior Freeze (Property Tax Reimbursement)? Does it actually freeze my taxes?
This property tax relief program does not actually freeze your taxes, but will reimburse you for any property tax increases you have once you're in the program. You will get the difference between your base year (first year of eligibility) property tax amount and the current year property tax amount, as long as the current year is higher than the base year and you met all other eligibility requirements.
Will I automatically get an application mailed to me if I’m eligible?
Though we try to mail applications to those who may be eligible for the program, it may be necessary to contact the Senior Freeze Information Line at 1-800-882-6597 to request an application or print a copy of Form PTR-1 from our website.
Note: Those residents who received a reimbursement check in the previous year will automatically receive their personalized Form PTR-2 in the mail.
What is the difference between a PTR-1 and PTR-2?
The PTR-1 is the application used by first-time applicants or for those who must re-establish themselves back into the Senior Freeze program. This form establishes your base year property tax amount, which is used to calculate the reimbursement going forward. You must meet the eligibility requirements for 2 consecutive years to establish a base year.
The PTR-2 is the application used by applicants already in the program, who have an established base year property tax amount.
Can I file my PTR application online?
No. This application is a paper form only.
Why can't I print my PTR-2 form online?
PTR-2 forms are personalized forms, preprinted with information, including your base year. We mail them to you with all the necessary information each year and, therefore, cannot be printed.
Do I need to file a PTR application every year after the initial application has been approved?
Yes. You must file each year by the filing deadline in order to receive reimbursement and to maintain your base year property tax amount.
What is a base year?
Your base year is the property tax amount for the year in which you first meet all eligibility requirements. You must have 2 consecutive years of eligibility before you can apply for the program. You will always compare your base year to your current year property tax amount. If the current year is higher, you get the difference as your reimbursement. The base year will not change unless your property tax amount is less than the base year or you fail to meet the eligibility requirements for the year.
My current year property taxes are lower than my base year amount. What is my reimbursement?
You will not be eligible for a reimbursement this year. If you maintain all other eligibility requirements, you will have to file Form PTR-1 next year to re-establish yourself in the program, using the lower property tax amount as your new base year.
What amount do I report for my property taxes, gross or net?
You report your gross property tax amount due and paid for the year indicated on the form. Include Homestead Benefit/REAP amounts received as a credit in that year.
What if I cannot make it to my tax collector's office to have the property tax verification form completed?
In lieu of sending a completed homeowners verification form, you may send in copies of the following proof of taxes due and paid:
Do I need to report my IRA on the income worksheet? What pension amount do I report?
Yes. You must report the total amount of pension and annuity payments, including IRA withdrawals, which can be found on the Pensions, Annuities, and IRA Withdrawals line on your New Jersey Resident Income Tax Return, Form NJ-1040.
If you are not required to file Form NJ-1040, you must calculate the amount you would have reported if you did file. See Appendix A of your PTR application booklet for information to assist completion of this line.
Can I request a direct deposit of my reimbursement?
No. The only option is to receive the reimbursement as a paper check. Be sure the address portion of your application is completed with your most recent mailing address.
My application has my name and my deceased spouse's name on it. How do I remove his/her name?
Since reimbursement checks are issued to the name(s) printed on the application, you would want to cross out your deceased spouse’s name and print the date of death above it, so we can make the necessary account corrections. Be sure to enclose a copy of the death certificate with your application. This will allow checks to be made payable to the surviving spouse, if married, or to the estate of the deceased applicant, otherwise.
Note: Eligibility requirements must be met for the application year for you and/or your spouse to qualify.
My mother died in November. Can I file the application on her behalf for the months she was alive during the year?
No. We do not prorate reimbursements. Applicants must own and occupy the home on the last day of the year to qualify for the reimbursement.
Am I eligible to file if the property is owned by a trust? If eligible, what documents do I need to submit to prove I'm the owner?
You must be a beneficiary of the trust and meet all other eligibility requirements for the program. You must submit a copy of the trust agreement along with your application.
I just moved. When can I file for my new property?
If you just moved into New Jersey, you will not be eligible to file for at least 10 years. If you have been a New Jersey resident continuously for at least 10 years, but moved to another New Jersey residence, you must own and live in the home for 3 full years before you can enter the program.
If you were in the program prior to the move and received a reimbursement for the last full tax year you occupied your previous home, you may qualify for the 2-year exception. Call the Senior Freeze Information Line at 1-800-882-6597 for more information.
Line d of the "Determining Total Income" worksheet lists Unemployment Benefits. What unemployment benefits do I have to include on this line?
For this program, you must include all unemployment benefits you receive. This includes any weekly supplemental unemployment benefits issued by the federal government ($600, $300).
Enter the total amount of unemployment benefits you received as shown in Box 1 of Form 1099-G.