STAR is the New York State School Tax Relief Program that provides an exemption or a credit from school property taxes for owner-occupied primary residences of one, two and three family homes, farm homes, condominiums, cooperative apartments or multiple use properties of which a portion is used by the owner as a primary residence. Homeowners who own more than one residential property may only receive the STAR benefit on their primary residence.
Basic STAR has been extended to all primary residence homeowners, regardless of age. The total annual household income of the owners and their spouses who primarily reside at the property must not exceed $500,000. (Income is defined as the amount reported as Federal “Adjusted Gross Income” (AGI) less the “taxable amount” of IRA distributions.)
Eligible senior citizens may receive reduced school taxes under Enhanced STAR. All owners must be at least 65 years of age (in the year that the exemption takes effect). If owners are spouses or siblings, only one resident owner must be at least 65. Their household income limit must not exceed $86,300. Income eligibility for the 2019-20 school tax year is based on household income information for 2017. Income is defined as the amount reported as Federal "Adjusted Gross Income" (AGI) less any "taxable amount" of IRA distributions.
New Application Procedure
If you have recently purchased your home or have never applied for STAR benefits on your current home, you are eligible to apply for the STAR Credit program. As per legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2016, STAR benefits for first time applicants will be issued as a credit in the form of a check directly from New York State, instead of a school property tax exemption. New applicants for the Basic STAR or Enhanced STAR must register with New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/default.htm) instead of applying at the Nassau County Department of Assessment. The amount of the STAR benefit is the same, whether it is an exemption or a credit. The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will determine if you are eligible for the Basic or Enhanced Star benefit amount. Register with New York State online at www.tax.ny.gov/star. Property owners without access to a computer can register by phone weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM by calling (518) 457-2036.
Current STAR Exemption Recipients
As long as current Basic and Enhanced STAR Exemption recipients continue to own their current home and meet eligibility requirements, they will continue to keep their exemption. Current recipients of the Enhanced STAR who are not enrolled in the Income Verification Program must continue to file renewal applications each year with the Department of Assessment. Basic STAR recipients who have become eligible for the Enhanced STAR Exemption must submit an application to receive the Enhanced Exemption.
2019 Mandatory Enhanced STAR Income Verification Program
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance will determine income eligibility for qualifying Enhanced STAR applications annually, beginning with the 2019-20 school tax year. This applies to property owners currently receiving Basic STAR benefits who are applying for Enhanced STAR, as well as those who already receive Enhanced STAR benefits but did not register for the Income Verification Program. An Enhanced STAR Income Verification Program Application (RP-425-IVP) must be submitted along with the Enhanced STAR Application. Anyone already enrolled in the Existing Income Verification Program is not required to take any action for the 2019-20 school tax year, unless instructed by the New York State Tax Department.
Eligibility criteria for the STAR Personal Income Tax Credit Program are the same as the STAR Exemption Program. You cannot receive both the credit and the exemption.
Special Eligibility Rules
Special eligibility rules apply for surviving spouses, nursing home residents, trusts and life estates. See the NYS Department of Taxation (http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/eligibility.htm) website for details.
Factors that determine primary residence include legal voting address, vehicle registration address and length of time spent each year at the property. The Assessor’s Office or Department of Taxation and Finance may request proof of residency.
Income eligibility for the 2019-20 school tax year is based on household income information for 2017. Income is defined as the amount reported as Federal "Adjusted Gross Income" (AGI), less any "taxable amount" of IRA distributions.
How to Calculate your Income for STAR:
IRS 1040 Line 37 minus line 15b
IRS 1040A Line 21 minus line 11b
IRS 1040EZ Line 4 only
NYS IT-201 Line 19 minus line 9
If you were not required to file a tax return, you will need the following information for all property owners: documentation of total wages, salaries and tips; taxable interest income and dividends; unemployment compensation; total pensions and annuities; Social Security benefits and other income.
STAR applications must be postmarked or received by the Taxable Status Date of January 2, 2019.
A Note About Deeds
Residents should contact the Department of Assessment before filing a new deed on their property, as their tax exemptions may be jeopardized.