New York State residents can take advantage of the State School Tax Relief Program, or STAR, homestead property exemption to lower the amount of their home’s value they are taxed on. The exemption is through the state school taxation system and homeowners must file to receive the exemption. Although most counties use March 1 as a filing deadline, many counties have their own date. Contact your local assessor’s office to confirm your county’s filing deadline.
Calculate your income to see if it is less than the STAR $500,000 maximum to qualify for the $30,000 exemption. You can calculate this figure one of four ways. Form 1040 filers take the amount on line 37, adjusted gross income, and subtract line 15b, taxable amount of total IRA distributions. 1040A filers take the amount on line 21, adjusted gross income, and subtract line 11b, taxable amount of total IRA distributions. 1040EZ files use the amount on line 4 only, adjusted income. NYS Form IT-201 filers use line 18, adjusted gross federal income, minus line 9, taxable amount of total IRA distributions.Step 2
Locate the STAR basic program application on the New York State Department of Finance and Taxation website and download Form RP-425, Application for School Tax Relief Exemption. Complete the general information blocks by filling in the applicants' name, telephone number and owner mailing address. Fill in the street address, village name, city or town and school district. Identify the homestead property’s location by filing in the tax map number or the section, block and lot number.Step 3
Fill in the income amount you calculated in step 1 on line 1 of the STAR application if the amount is $500,000 or less. Answer questions 2 through 5 before signing and dating the form.Step 4
Claim the enhanced $60,100 STAR exemption off the assessed value of your homestead if you are a senior citizen 65 years or older and have an annual income less than $79,050. You need to download and complete Form RP-425-IVR to receive the exemption. Senior citizens can elect to have the assessor’s office automatically verify their income and avoid filing the enhanced form every year.Step 5
File the basic and, if applicable, enhanced STAR applications with the local assessor’s office. Mail the documents via certified mail return receipt requested as proof of mailing. Get a receipt from the assessor’s office if you hand deliver it. You cannot file the forms online.
- If you are applying for the enhanced STAR exemption, enclosed a copy of your most recent federal or New York state income tax return with the application.
- The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance will verify the income information on the enhanced form.
Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.