By Karin Price Mueller
NJMoneyHelp.com for NJ.com
Even if you move, you may qualify for the Homestead Rebate.(terryballard/morguefile.com)
Q. I have the chance to move from my home that's in very bad shape to a nice little apartment, but I will need to move in by Dec. 31. When I sell my home, it would be a hardship for me to lose the $1,500 rebate I would get under the Homestead Rebate. Is it possible to still get it if I pay my property taxes for the last quarter in Nov. 2017? It seems unfair for me not to get the rebate.
-- Need the money
A. The Homestead Rebate, the common name for the New Jersey Homestead Benefit Program, can be confusing because of the filing deadlines.
"The deadline for filing for the 2015 Homestead Benefit is Nov. 30, 2017," said Bernie Kiely, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Kiely Capital Management in Morristown. "The years 2015 and 2017 are not typos. New Jersey is processing the 2015 Homestead Rebate in 2017."
Kiely said you may be eligible if you met all these requirements:
You were a New Jersey resident.
You owned and occupied a home in New Jersey that was your principal residence on Oct. 1, 2015. If you were not a homeowner on Oct. 1, 2015, you are not eligible for a homestead benefit, even if you owned a home for part of the year.
Property taxes for 2015 were paid on that home.
You earned $75,000 or less if you were under 65 or $150,000 and were age 65 or older. Unlike the Senior Freeze these amounts do not include Social Security or tax-exempt income.
You can apply for the Homestead Benefit online here or you can file by phone by calling (877)658-2972.
Kiely has the answer that's specific to you.
"If you lived in your home on Oct. 1, 2016 and 2017, you should be eligible to file for the 2016 and 2017 Homestead Rebate in 2018 and 2019, even if you no longer live in your home," Kiely said.
Email your questions to Ask@NJMoneyHelp.com.
Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for NJMoneyHelp.com's weekly e-newsletter.