Tuesday, May 30, 2017


As happens every year, according to a note on the New Jersey Division of Taxation website, the – “Filing deadline for 2016 Senior Freeze (PTR) Applications extended to October 18, 2017”.
Each year the application packages for the State of New Jersey’s “Property Tax Reimbursement” (PTR) program for senior and disabled homeowners, sent out at the end of February, states the filing deadline is June 1st.  And each year as this deadline approaches it is extended until at least mid-October.
You might ask, “Why not just make the deadline mid-October upfront?”  It seems, according to fellow tax pro John Kelly, a former NJDOT employee, the June 1st deadline is statutory – it is written in the bill that created the program.  So to make mid-October the official annual filing deadline the state legislature would have to pass an amendment to the bill.
I do not actually prepare the PTR application, but I do assist qualifying existing clients with it by providing the income information from their tax return and explaining the filing process.  While I do not have the time to deal with the PTR during the tax-filing season, I do fill in the income page of the application for clients in May. 
Even though the deadline has been extended each year, making the June 1st deadline basically meaningless, I fear that one year the State will fool us by not extending the deadline and therefore screwing seniors and the disabled to be able to keep more money in the Treasury for the politicians in Trenton to waste on pork and entitlements (for politicians). 
While the application lists the income threshold as in excess of $80,000, in addition to extending the deadline each year the State also reduces the income threshold for the filing year to $70,000 at the end of June to balance the budget, screwing many seniors and disabled homeowners out of a check.  No word yet whether or not this will again happen with the 2016 PTR application – but I would not be surprised if it does.
Fortunately qualified homeowners with incomes between $70,000 and the stated threshold do not lose their “base year” and remain in the program.
A point of information – all income is included in calculating the income threshold, including gross Social Security benefits and tax-exempt municipal interest and dividends.

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