Earlier this month the state of New Jersey announced an important update to the new ANCHOR property tax relief program, and recently, the Department of the Treasury began mailing application instructions to eligible homeowners and residents. If you’re wondering what you need to do next, we are here to guide you.
First, just a quick recap for those who are unfamiliar with the ANCHOR property tax relief program: The new initiative, known as the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) program, is a $2 billion property tax relief plan that will expand and replace the existing Homestead Benefit program.
The ANCHOR program application will be based on household income reported in 2019, and the program is available to those falling within three separate categories or income levels:
- Homeowners with household income of less than $150,000.
Eligible for a $1,500 property tax rebate each year.
- Homeowners with household income between $150,000 and $250,000.
Eligible for a $1,000 property tax rebate each year.
- Renters with income of up to $150,000.
Eligible for a $450 tax rebate each year.
Homeowners with income above $250,000 are ineligible for this rebate as well as renters with income above $150,000.
If you are deemed eligible and would like to apply for this program, you should be receiving application instructions in the mail soon. You may also receive the application instructions via email. Application instructions were mailed/e-mailed to residents residing in certain counties on September 12, and will continue to be mailed up until September 30, 2022.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT DISCARD THESE INSTRUCTIONS as they will include an ID and PIN that you will need to access the online filing system. YOU CANNOT ACCESS THE ONLINE FILING SYSTEM UNTIL YOU RECEIVE THE MAILER CONTAINING YOUR ID AND PIN.
Once you receive the 2019 ANCHOR mailing, review the information before entering your identification number and PIN. If anything is incorrect or has changed, including your mailing address, you will be able to modify it. If you do not receive a mailer shortly after September 30, but you filed a 2018 Homestead Benefit Application, access the online ID and PIN inquiry system to retrieve your 2019 Anchor ID and PIN. If you did not file a 2018 Homestead Benefit Application, and do not receive ANCHOR application instructions via mail or email by mid-October, you can call the ANCHOR hotline at 1-888-238-1233 for assistance.
Once you have gained access to the online filing system, fill out the application electronically at your earliest convenience. Alternatively, you can call 1-877-658-2972 to apply via telephone. Be prepared to provide the following information:
- Valid taxpayer identification number and, if applicable, the taxpayer identification number of your spouse or civil union partner
- New Jersey gross income from Line 29 of your 2019 NJ-1040. (If you are not required to file an NJ-1040, report “0.”)
- 2019 filing status
- Date of birth and, if applicable, your spouse’s/CU partner’s date of birth.
In addition, you will be asked:
- Did you own the property with someone who is not your spouse/CU partner? If yes, what percentage did you own?
- Did the property have more than one unit? If yes, what percentage of the property did you use as your main home?
There are also some circumstances that may require you to file a paper application. For example, you shared ownership of your main home with someone who was not your spouse/civil union partner and your percentage of ownership is not preprinted on your worksheet, or maybe your main home was a unit within a multi-unit property that you owned; or, perhaps you received an ANCHOR information mailer for the correct property, but the name on the mailer is incorrect and needs to be changed due to marriage, death, etc. For more details on paper application requirements and instructions, please visit https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/anchor/home-file.shtml.
This program is still in its early stages, but we are trying our best to stay updated and learn as much as we can about the program to ensure that we can assist and answer questions from our clients about the program. This program will be beneficial to many of our clients residing in NJ, and we strongly encourage all eligible candidates to take advantage of the property tax relief. Please note that applications for the 2019 ANCHOR program will no longer be accepted after December 30, 2022.
If you aren’t sure if you need to file a paper application, an electronic application, or if you still have questions about the ANCHOR application, do not hesitate to contact our firm at (732) 739-8800. As always, our goal is to make your life less taxing!