Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners Director John E. Lanza and Deputy Director Zach Rich were joined by Sheriff Fred W. Brown and County Clerk Mary Melfi to kick off a public information campaign alerting Hunterdon County taxpayers over the age of 62 that they may qualify for an expanded state income tax break when filing their 2021 taxes.
Lanza said, “This information effort, called Alert! NJ Tax Break Expands For Seniors, has the full support of all the Commissioners. It is necessary because the state has done little to advertise the expanded retirement exclusion tax break that will appear on the 2021 state income tax form and can provide a significant tax savings for seniors who qualify.
The program, which allows pension and other investment income to be excluded from taxation for some seniors, is designed to allow retirees to keep more of their retirement income and encourage them to stay here in New Jersey.”
Deputy Director Rich stated, “Our seniors have saved and sacrificed in preparation for retirement, and they should be told about this tax break. The County will engage our website, social media, the Enewsletter, the news media, and other resources to let our seniors know this benefit is now available.
Information on the retirement income exclusion, including a chart for calculating the tax break, can be found on pages 19-21 of the NJ Income Tax Instructions for the 2021 NJ-1040. We are encouraging all seniors to check out the rules to see if they are eligible.”
County Clerk Mary Melfi has joined the information campaign, “Because the Clerk’s Office hears from senior citizens often on a myriad of issues, I believe it is important that our seniors get this information about the tax break, which also applies to certain disabled persons. I am proud to join the efforts of the Commissioners in their campaign to bring attention to this important information for our seniors”
Sheriff Fred Brown, whose Office keeps seniors aware of scams aimed toward older people, added, “We are particularly concerned for seniors who do their own tax filings, because the information hasn’t been widely advertised, they could easily miss the income exclusion. The Sheriff’s Office will assist in letting our seniors know.”
According to the NJ-1040 Instructions, under the new state law expanding the retirement income exclusion:
Total income for qualifying for the program increases from $100,000 to $150,000 for those who on the last day of the tax year are 62 or older or disabled, for all who earn $3000 or less in wages, business income and other income.
Those couples who are married and filing jointly and are under the $100,000 income threshold have been able to exclude pension and other retirement income from state tax calculations for several years.
Now those filing jointly with between $100,000 and $125,000 of income may exclude 50% of pension and retirement income and those between $125,000 and $150,000 of income may exclude 25% of their retirement income. The percentages differ for single filers.
Lanza stated, “Our seniors deserve to know this benefit is available and we will do all we can to put this information out there.”
More information is available here; www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/senior-taxbreak2021.html
or at the state division of taxation website; www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/njit7.shtml