Tuesday, January 7, 2020


I was truly surprised to find that the 2019 New Jersey state income tax forms,schedules and instructions were up and available at the NJ Division of Taxation website last Friday afternoon.  I seem to recall that the Division was late in releasing the 2018 forms, schedules and instructions.

Last year the forms, schedules and instructions were re-designed and rewritten – for the better.  The 2019 versions appear to be almost the same as the 2018 versions, with some minor changes.

On Line 9 of the NJ-1040 the amount of the Veteran’s Exemption amount has been changed from $3,000 to $6,000 to reflect the doubling of the credit for 2019.

Two lines have been added to the NJ-1040 -

* Line 38d = Homeowner/Tenant Status.  Fill in the oval indicating whether you were a homeowner, tenant, or both during 2019.

* Line 52 = Shared Responsibility Payment.  This replaces the question about health insurance coverage that had appeared above the signature section on Page 4 of the 2018 NJ-1040.

A new schedule - Schedule NJ-HCC: Health Care Coverage - has been added for taxpayers to provide healthcare coverage information.  While you are no longer penalized on the federal return for not having “adequate” health insurance for your entire household for the entire year, NJ has added a “Shared Responsibility Payment” penalty for 2019.  We are told – “If your income on line 29 is above the filing threshold, you must submit this schedule with your return.”  However, if you and everyone in your tax household had minimum essential health coverage for the entire year you only have to complete Part 1 of Schedule NJ-HCC.

The NJDOT website explains (highlights are mine) –

Beginning in 2019, New Jersey residents who are required to file a return (and members of their tax household) must have minimum essential health coverage for the entire year unless they qualify for an exemption {click here to see the exemptions – rdf}. A tax household includes the taxpayer, their spouse (if filing a joint return), and any individuals they claim as dependents on their NJ-1040. It also includes any individuals they can, but don’t, claim as dependents on their return. If a taxpayer or anyone in their tax household did not have the required coverage and does not qualify for an exemption, they may owe a shared responsibility payment.”

FYI – the Retirement Income Exclusion for 2019 is $60,000 for Single, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er/Surviving CU Partner filers, $80,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, and $40,000 for married taxpayers filing separate returns.  The income threshold for claiming this exclusion remains at $100,000.  And the NJ Earned Income Tax Credit is increased to 39% of the federal EITC.


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