Daniel Satz, CFP®, MPAS® CRPC®, AWMA®
An Update on New Jersey's ANCHOR Program
Updated: Oct 27, 2022
By now, you may have received the ANCHOR program application in the mail, or will very shortly. The delivery date varies from county to county. Differing from the credit programs in the past, this particular program will actually provide those who qualify with a check or direct deposit which will come in May of 2023 as opposed to a credit on your property tax bill. To see if your income qualifies, pull up your 2019 NJ-1040 and look at Line 29. Again, if your gross income was under $150,000, you qualify for a $1,500 and if it was between $150,000 and $250,000 you can qualify for $1,000.
In many cases you will able to apply completely online with the pin ID you receive in the mail but you may be wondering when you would have to file a paper application. These are the requirements for homeowners who have to file a paper application:
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.
Your main home was a unit in a multi-unit property that you owned.
You received an ANCHOR information mailer for the correct property, but the name on the mailer is not yours or needs to be changed due to marriage, death, etc.
You are a widow(er)/surviving civil union partner and your deed lists both your name and the name of your deceased spouse.
You are an executor filing on behalf of a deceased homeowner.
You occupied a newly constructed home on October 1 for which you did not receive an ANCHOR mailer with an Identification Number and PIN.
You are considered a homeowner for purposes of applying for the ANCHOR benefit, but you were not the actual owner of record on October 1.
You and your spouse/civil union partner maintained the same main home and require separate ANCHOR benefit payments.
You are filing for a property held in trust. (You are considered an eligible owner of a property owned by a trust if you are a beneficiary, or the deed or trust agreement explicitly states that you have a life estate in the property.)
If you owned a home in NJ on October 1st, 2019 but have since sold it, you can still file the application and receive your credit through direct deposit. If you prefer to have it mailed to your new address, you can provide that on the application.
If you had divorced prior to October 1, 2019, you should file a paper application in your name only and report your percentage of ownership.
If you divorced on or after October 1, 2019, but before January 1, 2020, and:
You lived in the home by yourself on October 1, 2019, file a 2019 ANCHOR paper application in your name only and report 100% ownership; or
You and your former spouse lived in the home on October 1, 2019, file separate paper applications, each reporting the appropriate percentage of ownership. (50% unless otherwise specified on the property deed or the divorce decree.)
In either scenario, report your 2019 New Jersey Income Tax return filing status.
Who else qualifies?
CCRC residents are also considered homeowners under the program if they were residents on October 1, 2019, and if their contract requires the payment of a proportionate share of property taxes.
Tenants of a rented and occupied property which was your main residence on October 1, 2019 also qualify and can receive a credit of $450 if they meet all other requirements:
You were a New Jersey resident; and
Your 2019 New Jersey gross income was not more than $150,000; and
You rented and occupied a residence in New Jersey that was your principal residence (main home) on October 1, 2019; and
Your name was on the lease or rental agreement; and
You paid rent; and
Your unit had its own separate kitchen and bath facilities, if the building consisted of multiple units; and
The rental property was subject to local property taxes, (see Qualified and Non-Qualified Rental Properties
This application is due by December 30th, 2022 or you will be ineligible. Please do not hesitate to apply as soon as you receive your card in the mail.