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Homestead Benefit Frequently Asked Questions

How to File

Change of Address/Sold Home

Income

Filing Status

Multiple Owners (You owned your residence with someone who was not your spouse.)

Multiple Units (Your residence was a unit in a multiunit property that you owned.)

Condo, Co-Op, or Continuing Care

Property Tax Payments


How to File

Where do I get an Identification Number and PIN so I can file my Homestead Benefit application?

  • If you received an application packet in the mail, you will find your ID and PIN printed on the Homestead Benefit worksheet found in the center of the packet;  
  • If you received your application electronically, use the link in the email we sent to you to obtain your ID and PIN; or
  • If you have not received an application packet or an email from the Division, call the Homestead Benefit Hotline at 1‑888‑238‑1233 or visit a Regional Information Center for help.

Should I mail my Homestead Benefit Worksheet and/or confirmation number to the Division of Taxation?
No. Keep it for your records. If you received a confirmation number, you filed your application successfully.

I need a paper application. How can I get one?

  • Go to the Online Filing System. Once you enter your Identification Number and PIN, you can print the paper application immediately or you can request that we send you a paper application by mail;
  • Call the Phone Filing System at 1-877-658-2972. After you enter your Identification Number and PIN, you can indicate that the name preprinted on your application is incorrect and we will send you a paper application; or
  • Call the Homestead Benefit Hotline at 1-888-238-1233 (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except State holidays), to request a paper application.

Change of Address

How do I update my mailing address?

You can change your mailing address when you file online or by phone.

If you have already filed your application, information on changing your address is available online.

I owned a home in New Jersey on October 1, 2015, but I sold it. Since I’ve already moved, how will I get my 2015 benefit?
If you sell your home before filing your Homestead Benefit application (or you plan to close on the sale before November 30, 2017), you should answer “No” to the question asking whether you still own the property when you file your application (question 9 on the worksheet or question 7 on the paper application). We will issue your Homestead Benefit by check (or direct deposit). See 2015 Homestead Benefit Information for Homeowners Who Sold or Plan to Sell Their Homes for more information.

What if I unexpectedly sell my home after I file my application? How do I get my benefit? 
The only way to receive your 2015 Homestead Benefit is to take credit for the benefit at the closing of your property sale. Discuss this matter with your attorney or closing agent so they can negotiate on your behalf. See 2015 Homestead Benefit Information for Homeowners Who Sold or Plan to Sell Their Homes for more information.

Income

Where do I find the amount of my 2015 New Jersey gross income to report on my application?

Your 2015 New Jersey gross income is on line 28 of your 2015 NJ-1040. If your income was under the filing threshold and you were not required to file a tax return, you would report $0 as your income in Box 11 (worksheet) or Box 10 (paper application).

My spouse and I each earned income that is below the income limit, but our combined income is higher than the limit. We live in the same home. Do we qualify?
No, you do not qualify because your combined income is over the limit. View more information on the income requirements.

I married during 2015, but was the sole owner of my home on October 1, 2015. What income do I report on my 2015 Homestead Benefit application?
If you and your spouse lived together in your home on October 1, 2015, you must report your combined income on your Homestead Benefit application. If your spouse maintained a separate principal residence on October 1, 2015, you should report only your income on the application.

My husband and I file our Homestead Benefit jointly. He is over 65 and I am under 65. Which income requirements apply?
As long as you are filing jointly, you will follow the income requirements for age 65 or older or blind or disabled.

Filing Status

My spouse and I use the filing status 3 because we file separate Income Tax returns and maintain separate residences. My spouse is disabled and I am not. How do we file?
You must file separate applications. On your application, you will indicate that you were under 65 and not blind or disabled. Your spouse will file as 65 or older or blind or disabled on his/her application.

My spouse and I use the filing status 6 on the Homestead Benefit application because we file separate Income Tax returns but live together. My spouse is disabled and I am not. How do we file?
Since you and your spouse maintain the same residence, you must file only one application, indicating your spouse was 65 or older or blind or disabled.

Multiple Owners

I own a home with someone who is not my spouse and the percentage of ownership  is not listed on the application. How do we file?

Each owner must meet the eligibility requirements on their own and file a separate paper application. A co-owner who did not occupy the property as their principal residence on October 1, 2015, or who does not meet the other eligibility requirements, is not eligible for the benefit and should not file an application. The benefit is available only for the share (percentage) of the property you owned (ex: 50% for two owners, unless otherwise specified on the property deed) even if only one owner lives in the home.  View more information on properties with multiple owners.

My application has my name and my former spouse’s name on it. How do I file?

If you divorced prior to October 1, 2015, you should file a paper application in your name only and report your percentage of ownership (50% unless otherwise specified on the property deed or the divorce decree).

If you divorced on or after October 1, 2015, but prior to January 1, 2016 and:

    • You lived in the home by yourself on October 1, 2015, file a 2015 Homestead Benefit paper application in your name only and report 100% ownership; or

    • You and your former spouse lived in the home on October 1, 2015, file separate paper applications, each reporting the appropriate percentage of ownership. (Fifty percent unless otherwise specified on the property deed or the divorce decree.)

In each case, the homeowner must use the same filing status used on their 2015 New Jersey Income Tax return(s).

My fiancé and I shared ownership of our home on October 1, 2015. We married after October 1, 2015. How should we file?
You should file one application in both of your names and report 100% ownership of your home. You must use the same filing status you used on your 2015 New Jersey Income Tax return(s).

Multiple Units

I owned a multiunit property and lived in one of the units. My application is not preprinted with the percentage of property I use as my principal residence. How do I file?
You must file a paper application, if you meet all of the eligibility requirements. View more information on properties with multiple units.

Condo, Co-Op, or Continuing Care

I owned and lived in a single unit of a condominium complex (or a unit in a co-op or continuing care retirement community). How do I answer the question, “Does the property have more than one unit?”

You should answer “No” to this question. You are not considered to be living in a multiple-unit property if your principal residence was a unit in a condominium co-op, or continuing care retirement community.

Property Tax Payments

My Property Taxes are delinquent. Can I still file for a Homestead Benefit?

Yes.

My mortgage company pays my Property Taxes from an escrow account. How will the Homestead Benefit credit to my Property Taxes affect the amount of my mortgage payments?
Your mortgage payments will likely not change as a result of your Homestead Benefit credit until your mortgage company conducts your annual escrow account analysis. Please contact your mortgage company with additional questions.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 09/13/17



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