Senior Citizens Property Tax Exemption
Are you 65 or older, own your home and earn less than $29,000 per year?
Then you may qualify for a partial exemption in your New York State property taxes.
- To qualify for the Senior Citizens’ Exemption, all co-owners of the property must be 65 years or older.
- However, if you own your home with your spouse, only one spouse needs to meet the age requirement. You have to own the home for at least 12 months in a row and the home must be your primary residence.
- If you move into a new home and received the exemption at your previous residence then you do not need to meet the 12 month requirement. Check with your local municipality to see if the prior ownership of your residence qualifies towards the 12 month requirement.
- The home must be your primary residence. You can have only one primary residence. Your primary residence can include houses, condominiums, cooperative apartments, mobile homes, and farm houses.
- Nursing home residents who own their homes satisfy the residency requirement so long as no one other than co-owner or spouse lives in the home. You need to submit proof of ownership such as a deed or mortgage.
- If your home is owned by a trust, to qualify either all of the trustees or all of the beneficiaries must meet the age, income, and residency requirements. The exemption is also allowed if the owner has a life estate and meets the age, income, and residency requirements.
If you reside in a cooperative apartment or a mobile home in a mobile home park, file your application with the assessor. The assessor then provides a itemization of the exemptions to the cooperative manager or park owner, who will then pass the tax savings on to you.
The combined total income of the qualified owners cannot exceed $29,000. This means if you own the home with your spouse, your combined income cannot exceed that amount.
Some municipalities offer a lower reduction if your income is greater, but each municipality is different. Income is comprised of Social Security payments, salary, interest, dividends, trust and estate income, capital gains, net earnings from farming, rental, business, or profession (including amounts claimed as deprecation for income tax purposes), and the total amount received from governmental or private retirement pension plans. Contributions to IRA’s are not deductible, IRA earnings are income, and IRA distributions are not included as income.
Income does not include Supplemental Security Income, welfare payments, gifts and inheritances, payments received as participants in the Federal Foster Grandparents program, a return of capital, or reparation payments received by Holocaust survivors. Income also does not include proceeds from a reverse mortgage. Local governments can choose to allow veterans’ disability payments to be subtracted from total income. You must attach proof of the amount deducted.
Local governments can choose to allow medical and prescription drug expenses to be deducted from income. These expenses do not include expenses reimbursed or paid by your health insurance.
You must submit proof of income with your application. Submit federal or state income tax returns filed by you and any other owner for the prior year. To prove your stated income, you may be required to submit Social Security Administrations statements, bank statements, rent receipts, or other documentation to verify your stated income.
Check with your municipality if you have any questions about the income requirement.
The senior exemption reduces your property’s taxable assessment by 50%. The amount of your savings is 50% of your property’s taxable assessment multiplied by the tax rate.
To apply you must file an application with your local assessor. Form RP-467 is the initial application and form 467-Rnw is to renew every year. If you file for 5 years in a row and are eligible for 5 years in a row, then you may not need to file an annual application. Ask your local assessor about the requirements after 5 years of eligibility. If you receive the Senior Citizens’ Exemption, you automatically qualify for the STAR exemption. You do not need to fill out a separate application for the STAR exemption. However, you cannot receive both the Senior Citizens’ Exemption and the Persons with Disabilities Exemption. You should choose the most valuable exemption. All forms can be found at www.tax/ny.gov. You can also get the forms at your local assessor’s office.
The deadline to apply is the taxable status date. You a required to mail or hand-deliver your application by the deadline.
Most jurisdictions, the taxable status date is March 1st of each year. However, it varies in some cities and counties.
You can visit https://orps1.orpts.ny.gov/MuniPro/ to find your jurisdiction’s taxable status date.
Allison G. Cappella is an Associate Attorney with the firm and practices Tax Certiorari, She can be reached by phone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email