NJ Announces ANCHOR Program – Property Tax Relief Benefit for Tax Year 2019

New Jersey announced a new Property Tax Relief Benefit, the ANCHOR Program, which replaces the previous Homestead Benefit program for Tax Year 2019. The Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) Property Tax Relief Program has expanded eligibility for property tax relief and will benefit a large number of homeowners and tenants.

This program provides property tax relief to New Jersey residents who owned or rented their principal residence (main home) on October 1, 2019, and met the income limits. If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible for a benefit payment.

You should file electronically – either online or by phone (1-877-658-2972), unless you are required to file a paper application. Visit the NJ Division of Taxation’s Instructions on How to File to find information on What You Need to File and Filing a Paper Application under the “Filing Information for Homeowners” tab.

The filing deadline for the ANCHOR Application – Tax Year 2019 – is December 30, 2022.

The Business Tax telephone filing system is experiencing issues with the 609-341-4800 filing number.

As an alternative, taxpayers can file their returns online. They have also temporarily activated 877-829-2866 for taxpayers who prefer to file by phone.

ANCHOR Program Homeowners

You are eligible if you met these requirements:

  • You were a New Jersey resident; and
  • You owned and occupied a home in New Jersey that was your principal residence (main home) on October 1, 2019; and
  • 2019 property taxes were paid on that home; and
  • Your 2019 New Jersey gross income was $250,000 or less.

If you were not a homeowner on October 1, 2019, you are not eligible for a homeowner benefit, even if you owned a home for part of the year.

If you rented your main home on October 1, 2019, see ANCHOR Tenant for information on how to file as a tenant.

You are considered a homeowner if, on October 1, 2019, you:

  • Owned a house,
  • Owned a condominium and paid property taxes on your unit;
  • Were a resident shareholder of a cooperative housing complex;
  • Were a resident of a continuing care retirement community and your continuing care contract requires you to pay the proportionate share of property taxes attributable to your unit.

You do not qualify if your residence was completely exempt from paying property taxes or you made P.I.L.O.T. (Payments-in-Lieu-of-Tax) payments.

ANCHOR Program Tenant

You are considered a tenant if, on October 1, 2019, you:

  • Rented an apartment, condominium, or house;
  • Rented or owned a mobile home located in a mobile home park.

You do not qualify if you lived in tax-exempt, subsidized, or campus housing.

Need an ID/PIN

If you have not received the information mailer or an email from us, check the application mailing schedule. Allow at least two weeks after the expected delivery date for your county before contacting the ANCHOR Hotline at 1-888-238-1233 or visiting a Regional Information Center for help.

If you filed a Homestead Benefit Application last year and did not receive your ANCHOR filing information, you may be able to get your ID/PIN and additional filing information here.

What You Need to File

You will need the assigned Identification Number and PIN of your principal residence (main home) you owned and occupied on October 1, 2019, to file by phone or online. Also, be prepared to provide your:

  • Valid taxpayer identification number and, if applicable, the taxpayer identification number of your spouse or civil union partner;
  • New Jersey gross income from Line 29 of your 2019 NJ-1040. (If you are not required to file an NJ-1040, report “0.”);
  • 2019 filing status;
  • Date of birth and, if applicable, your spouse’s/CU partner’s date of birth.

You will also be asked if:

  • You owned the property with someone who is not your spouse/CU partner. If yes, what percentage did you own?
  • The property had more than one unit. If yes, what percentage of the property did you use as your main home?

When to File a Paper Application

Some homeowners are required to file a paper ANCHOR application (Form ANCHOR-H).

You must file a paper application if:

  • 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.)

Most homeowners filing paper applications will need to include supporting documentation to verify eligibility. See application instructions for proper enclosures.

How to get a Paper Application

Log in using your ID and PIN to print the application (Form ANCHOR-H), or call the ANCHOR Hotline at 1-888-238-1233 to order one. You can mail it in or you have the option to upload a completed copy of your paper application using our electronic filing system. You will be able to attach your supporting documents with the application.

Also Eligible

If you were a resident shareholder of a cooperative housing complex or you owned a condominium and you paid property taxes on the unit, you are considered a homeowner for purposes of applying for the ANCHOR benefit. You are not considered to be living in a multiple-unit property. Answer no to the multi-unit question when filing.

If you were a resident of a continuing care retirement community and your continuing care contract required you to pay the proportionate share of property taxes attributable to the unit, you are considered a homeowner for purposes of applying for the ANCHOR benefit. You are not considered to be living in a multiple-unit property. Answer no to the multi-unit question when filing.

Ineligible Properties

If these circumstances exist, you may not claim an ANCHOR benefit for 2019:

  • Your principal residence was completely exempt from paying property taxes (such as certain totally and permanently disabled war veterans).
  • You made P.I.L.O.T. (Payments-in-Lieu-of-Tax) payments to your municipality. These payments are not considered property taxes for purposes of the ANCHOR Benefit.

You are not eligible for a benefit for a vacation home, a “second home,” or a property you owned and rented to someone else. If you owned more than one property in New Jersey, only file the application for the property that was your main home on October 1, 2019.

NJ ANCHOR Program Resources

Find the portal to file your ANCHOR Benefit online here.

Additional resources from nj.gov include Checking the Status of your 2019 ANCHOR Benefit and ANCHOR Program Frequently Asked Questions.

 

NJ Division of Taxation – ANCHOR Program

NJ Division of Taxation – ANCHOR Program – How to File

File Your ANCHOR Benefit Online – Portal (state.nj.us)

NJ Division of Taxation – Homeowners

NJ Division of Taxation – Tenants

NJ Division of Taxation – ANCHOR Program – Check the Status of your 2019 ANCHOR Benefit

NJ Division of Taxation – ANCHOR Program – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Contact us if you have additional questions.