Senior Freeze Property Tax Reimbursement

Information current through 12/30/2020.

The filing deadline for the 2019 Senior Freeze has been extended to February 1, 2021.

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Introduction

The Senior Freeze Program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principal residence. To qualify, you must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year (the current application year is 2019).

*All property tax relief program information provided here is based on current law and is subject to change. More information can be found at https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/ taxation.

Form Mailings

Applications were mailed in February to the last address you filed with. If you did not receive your booklet, contact the Senior Freeze Property Tax Reimbursement Information Line for assistance at 1-800-882-6597. The US Postal Service does not forward application booklets.

Eligibility Requirements

You may be eligible for a 2019 reimbursement if you meet all of the following requirements.

Age/Disability

You (or your spouse/civil union partner) were:

  • 65 or older on December 31, 2018; or

  • Actually receiving federal Social Security disability benefit payments (not benefit payments received on behalf of someone else) on or before December 31, 2018.

Residency

You lived in New Jersey continuously since December 31, 2008, or earlier, as either a homeowner or a renter.

Home Ownership

Homeowners. You owned and lived in your home since December 31, 2015, or earlier (and you still owned and lived in that home on December 31, 2019).

Mobile Home Owners. You leased a site in a mobile home park where you placed a manufactured or mobile home that you owned since December 31, 2015, or earlier (and still lived in that home/leased the site on December 31, 2019).

If you moved from one New Jersey property to another and received a reimbursement for your previous residence for the last full year you lived there, you may qualify for an exception to re-applying to the Senior Freeze Program.

Property Taxes/Site Fees

Homeowners. The 2018 property taxes due on your home must have been paid by June 1, 2019, and the 2019 property taxes must have been paid by June 1, 2020.

Mobile Home Owners. Your site fees must have been paid by December 31 of 2018 and/or 2019, respectively.

Income Limit

Your total annual income (combined if you were married or in a civil union and lived in the same home) was:

  • 2018: $89,013 or less; and

  • 2019: $91,505 or less

Past income limits can be found at https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/ptr/incomehistory.pdf.


You are not eligible for a reimbursement on:

  • A vacation home or second home;

  • Property that you rent to someone else;

  • Property that consists of more than four units; or

  • Property with four units or less that contains more than one commercial unit.

You are also not eligible if you:

  • Are completely exempt from paying property taxes on your home; or

  • Made P.I.L.O.T. (Payments-in-Lieu-of-Tax) payments to your municipality.


Life Estate (Life Tenancy). You are considered the owner of the property if you have life estate rights or hold a lease for 99 years or more. You must include with your application a copy of an official document (e.g., deed, lease) establishing your right to occupy the property.

Forms and Deadline

Form PTR-1 is for applicants who are filing an application for the first time, or who filed an application last year but did not meet all the eligibility requirements.

Form PTR-2 is a personalized application for those who received reimbursement checks for 2016.

Note: Eligibility requirements, including income limits, and benefits available under this program are as provided by the Department of the Treasury.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

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.