What is the STAR Credit and Who is Eligible?

Dated: 08/21/2019

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The STAR credit program is open to any eligible homeowner whose income is $500,000 or less and the home is their primary residence

Click this link to see the maximum STAR savings by school district

the STAR exemption program allows you to receive a direct reduction on your school tax bill in the form of a property tax exemption

Enhanced STAR, which provides increased savings, is available to qualifying senior citizens ages 65 and older in both the credit and exemption programs.

Requirements for Basic and Enhanced STAR

Factor

Basic STAR

Enhanced STAR

Residency

You must own your home and it must be your primary residence.*

Age

No age restriction

65 or older 

For jointly owned property, only one spouse or sibling must be at least 65 by December 31 of the year when the benefit will begin.

Income**

$500,000 or less for the STAR credit ($250,000 or less for the STAR exemption)

The income limit applies to the combined incomes of only the owners and owners' spouses who reside at the property.

For 2019 benefits: $86,300 or less
 
For 2020 benefits: $88,050 or less

The income limit applies to the combined incomes of all owners (residents and non-residents), and any owner's spouse who resides at the property.

 

SPECIAL ELIGABILITY RULES

Surviving Spouses

You can retain an existing Enhanced STAR benefit if you're at least 62 years old as of December 31 in the year the benefit will continue. Otherwise, you may receive the Basic STAR benefit.

 

Nursing Home Residents

If you own your home, you're eligible for Basic or Enhanced STAR, as long as no one other than the co-owner or spouse resides there.

 

Trusts

If you're a trust beneficiary who conveyed your home to trustees but continues to live in the home, you get the STAR benefit. For example, a senior creates a trust and conveys her home to her children as trustees. If she remains in the home as the beneficiary of the trust, she is considered the homeowner and gets the STAR benefit.

 

Life Estates

Under a life estate, one party has a life tenancy (ownership for the rest of his or her life) and another party—the remainderman—will become the owner after the life tenant dies. While the deed may appear to convey ownership to the remainderman, the remainderman will not take title until the death of the life tenant. Therefore, for exemption purposes, the life tenant is deemed to own the property, and STAR eligibility is based on the life tenant's qualifications.

 

* Determining your primary residence

Some factors that help determine whether a property is your primary residence include:

voting,

vehicle registrations, and

length of time spent each year on the property.

The Tax Department may also request proof of residency.

** Income eligibility

Eligibility in 2019 is based on income information from the 2017 tax year. Income means federal adjusted gross income minus the taxable amount of total distributions from IRAs (individual retirement accounts and individual retirement annuities).  Click here for more information

Image result for nys star credit

 

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Shaun Manning

Shaun's focus is on residential real estate in Fairfield, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and the surrounding counties. Licensed in New York and Connecticut, Shaun is also Commercial and Investment Rea....

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