The STAR exemption program is closed to new applicants. If you’re a new homeowner or first-time STAR applicant, you need to register for the STAR credit with the Tax Department. See Register for the STAR credit to apply online.
Eligible types of property
- houses, condominiums, cooperative apartments, manufactured homes, and farm houses
- mixed-use properties, including apartment buildings (but only the owner-occupied portion)
Requirements for Basic and Enhanced STAR
You must own your home and it must be your primary residence.*
No age restriction
65 or older
$500,000 or less for the STAR credit ($250,000 or less for the STAR exemption)
The income limit applies to the combined incomes of only the owners and owners’ spouses who reside at the property.
For 2020 benefits: $88,0500 or less
Determining your primary residence
Some factors that help determine whether a property is your primary residence include:
- vehicle registrations, and
- length of time spent each year on the property.
The Tax Department may also request proof of residency.
** Income eligibility
Income eligibility for the 2020 STAR credit is based on federal or state income tax return information from the 2018 tax year.
Income for STAR purposes
Income means federal adjusted gross income minus the taxable amount of total distributions from IRAs (individual retirement accounts and individual retirement annuities). To determine your income eligibility, use the following table to identify line references on your 2018 federal or state income tax returns.
How to calculate your income for STAR
Title of income tax form
Income for STAR purposes
Federal Form 1040
U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
NYS Form IT-201
Resident Income Tax Return
Federal adjusted gross
Special instructions for IRAs
Taxable IRA distributions are not separately reported on 2018 federal Form 1040. Use these instructions to decide whether you need to determine your taxable IRA distributions for 2018, and if so, how.
- If any of the following conditions apply to you, you do not need to determine your taxable IRA distributions for 2018:
- The amount shown on line 7 of your 2018 federal Form 1040 is less than or equal to the applicable income limit described above. (You meet the income qualification.)
- The amount shown on line 7 of your 2018 federal Form 1040 minus the amount shown on line 4b is more than the applicable income limit described above. (You do not meet the income qualification.)
- If line 4b of your 2018 federal Form 1040 is zero, your taxable IRA deductions are zero. (Your income qualification will be based on line 7 of your 2018 federal Form 1040.)
- If none of those conditions apply to you, you do need to determine the amount of your taxable IRA distributions for 2018:
- If you filed a NYS income tax return (Form IT-201) for 2018, the portion of your taxable IRA distributions is the amount shown on line 9 of that return.
- If you did not file a NYS income tax return (Form IT-201) for 2018, you must review your records to determine the portion of line 4b of your federal Form 1040 that is attributable to taxable IRA distributions. If you are uncertain, consult your tax advisor.
Special eligibility rules
You can retain an existing Enhanced STAR benefit if you’re at least 62 years old as of December 31 in the year the benefit will continue. Otherwise, you may receive the Basic STAR benefit.
Nursing home residents
If you own your home, you’re eligible for Basic or Enhanced STAR, as long as no one other than the co-owner or spouse resides there.
If you’re a trust beneficiary who conveyed your home to trustees but continues to live in the home, you get the STAR benefit. For example, a senior creates a trust and conveys her home to her children as trustees. If she remains in the home as the beneficiary of the trust, she is considered the homeowner and gets the STAR benefit.
Under a life estate, one party has a life tenancy (ownership for the rest of his or her life) and another partyâ€”the remaindermanâ€”will become the owner after the life tenant dies. While the deed may appear to convey ownership to the remainderman, the remainderman will not take title until the death of the life tenant. Therefore, for exemption purposes, the life tenant is deemed to own the property, and STAR eligibility is based on the life tenant’s qualifications
To support the registration effort, the following new penalties, sanctions, and fees have been enacted:
- penalties for intentionally providing misinformation to an assessor will increase from $100 to as much as $2500
- the number of years for which a taxpayer must repay inappropriate STAR benefits will increase from three to as many as six years
- taxpayers whose STAR exemption is revoked will be unable to receive the exemption for six years after the revocation
- an additional $500 processing fee will be imposed whenever an inappropriate exemption granted after April 1, 2013 is revoked
The processing fees and penalties will be retained by local governments, while the State will recover the value of the STAR benefits provided to ineligible taxpayers.
To learn more:
- If you have questions about the new registration program, call (518) 457-2036
- Visit our STAR Program Web page.
You can check the information that the assessor has on file on this page of the OARS website. The Final 2017 tax roll can be accessed here. (beware, this is a very large file (3MB+) and can take a while to download)
Adobe Acrobat reader is required to view this file. If you do not have it, you can go to www.adobe.com and download the reader for free.
You can download exemption information from the OARS website