Up-to-the-minute advice, information, resources, and, on occasion, commentary on federal and New Jersey state income taxes, and the various New Jersey property tax rebate programs, and insights and observations on tax policy and professional tax practice, by 40-year veteran tax professional Robert D Flach.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
OOPS, THEY DID IT AGAIN!
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
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
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.