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Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.

NYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (“SCHE”) Guide

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Everyone knows how expensive it is to live in New York City and New York State. It’s one of the most expensive cities to live in America and the entire world. So anyoneNYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption Guide living there must try to take advantage of every tax break or exemption. One such tax break is the NYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemphotion (“SCHE”). Therefore, in this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the SCHE. For instance, this is the perfect article for you whether you’re a senior citizen, want to help out the senior citizens in your life, or want to know as much as possible about the tax laws in NYC. In this guide, we’ll look at what the NYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption is. Who’s eligible for the NYC Department of Finance Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption?

How to estimate what your tax exemption would be, and more. For the sake of our readers, we will be presenting this information as if you’re looking into the tax exemption for yourself.

What is the NYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption?

First, as the name suggests, the New York City Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption is a tax break designed for senior citizen homeowners. MoreNYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption specifically, it’s a tax break that helps out senior citizens who own a one-, two-, or three-family home in NYC.

For instance, these homes can be houses, condominiums, or coop apartments. As long as a senior citizen owns them, they can potentially qualify.

Therefore, at its core, the SCHE offers senior citizen homeowners a potential reduction of 5% and 50% of the property tax on their home(s). In NYC, getting a tax break of up to 50% of your property value can be substantial. However, not everyone qualifies.

The Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption allows seniors (age 65 or older) with an annual income of $58,399 or less to reduce the property tax bill on their primary residence in NYC. This is accomplished by reducing the taxable assessed value of a qualifying senior’s home by up to 50%.

So let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements of this exemption so you know if you can take advantage of this or not.

Who is Eligible for the SCHE in NYC?

As mentioned before, not everyone is eligible for the NYC Department of Finance Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption. Eligibility is based on age, income, residency, and property ownership.

Therefore, to be eligible, you must meet all of the qualifications listed below:

  1. Age — You must be at least 65 years of age or older. If you own the property with a spouse or a sibling, only one of you needs to be 65. Besides, if you own it with others (besides a spouse or sibling), everyone needs to be 65 years old or older.
  2. Income — All owners’ total combined annual income (whether the owner and their spouse or the owner and a co-owner) must be $58,399 or less. This includes all forms of income, including salary, self-employment income, dividends, Social Security, retirement payments, IRA earnings, capital gains, and more. It includes everything.
  3. Residency — You must be using the property as your primary residence. This is true for all owners, whether that is a spouse, sibling, or other co-owner. If you’re receiving in-patient care at a medical facility and technically living there, you can still qualify for the tax break on the property.
  4. Property Ownership — You must be the property’s registered owner for the 12 months before applying for the exemption. If you are instead using your previous residence to claim the exemption, this does not apply.

Automatic Disqualifications of the NYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption

Regardless of whether or not you meet the above qualifications, the following list comprises the things that will automatically disqualify you fromnyc senior citizen homeowners exemption application receiving the benefits of the SCHE.

Therefore, if any of the following three things are true for you, then you are not eligible:

  1. You already receive the Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE). You are not eligible to receive both tax breaks concurrently.
  2. Or, you own the property through your Limited Liability Company (LLC) rather than yourself, and it has to be owned by you, the individual.
  3. Lastly, you already receive exemptions through the 421a or 421b exemption program, and you cannot receive exemptions from these and the SCHE simultaneously.

You are eligible for the tax break if you meet all the eligibility requirements and don’t meet any of the automatic disqualifiers.

How do You Estimate Your Tax Exemption?

First, taxes are one of the most confusing times for just about everyone who pays taxes in this country. All the different forms come in through the mail and e-mail. Then, various streams of income that you need to keep track of.

Do you owe money, or will you be getting a refund? Which tax breaks or exemptions do you qualify for?

It can be a stressful time for many people.

When you’re talking about the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption, you’re talking about potentially saving a lot of money.

So even though it can be stressful to keep track, it’s essential to use every break. Thankfully, to make this easier, New York City makes the SCHE reduction reasonably simple to estimate.

old man in an apartment

The exemption changes wildly with just a slight change in total income.

So you must nail down your total income and take all the deductions on your income that you can also.

Ensuring you take advantage of everything you can means a big difference, financially speaking when tax time comes around.

As a quick note to drive this point home, if you barely qualify for the exemption with an income of $58,000, you’ll get to reduce your property tax bill by 5%. However, if you can write off $8,000 of income and bring your combined income down to $50,000, you’ll be able to reduce that property tax year by a whopping 50%. So that’s how quickly this tax break scales.

So without further ado, here is the breakdown of what the NYC Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption can do for you. Therefore, take advantage of everything you can, and best of luck come tax time:

Income Range – Tax rate sche property tax exemption by
$58,400 and Above Ineligible
$57,500 – $58,399 5%
$56,600 – $57,499 10%
$55,700 – $56,599 15%
$54,800 – $55,699 20%
$53,900 – $54,799 25%
$53,000 – $53,899 60%
$52,000 – $52,999 35%
$51,000 – $51,999 40%
$50,001 – $50,999 45%
$50,000 and Less 50%
Also, you can call 311 to request a renewal application. Lastly, if you inherit your deceased parent’s property, the Department of Finance will automatically remove the Senior Citizen Homeowners Exemption NYC. To conclude, the recording of a deed, except for a life estate deed, automatically revokes the following exemptions:
  • Basic or Enhanced School Tax Relief (STAR)
  • Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption (SCHE)
  • Disabled Homeowner Exemption (DHE)
  • Veterans or Clergy Exemption


Written By: Georges Benoliel

Georges has been working in Wall Street for the last 16 years trading derivatives with hedge funds. He has been an active real estate investor for over a decade. Georges graduated from HEC Business School in Paris and holds a master in Finance from ESADE Barcelona.

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