Register for the STAR credit
Changes to STAR
If you currently receive your STAR benefit as a reduction on your school tax bill (the STAR exemption), you may receive a greater benefit if you switch to the STAR credit to receive a check instead.Recent changes in the law beginning this year:
- The value of the STAR credit savings may increase by as much as 2% each year, but the value of the STAR exemption savings will not increase.
- The income limit for the Basic STAR exemption is now $250,000.
If your income is more than $250,000, you must switch to the STAR credit to continue receiving a STAR benefit.
If your income is $250,000 or less, you have the option to switch.
To switch to the STAR credit:
- Notify your assessor to withdraw from the STAR exemption.
- Follow the directions to register below.
Handout for new homeowners
Realtors and attorneys, as your clients purchase new homes, we encourage you to provide them with this printable one-page handout: Register for the School Tax Relief (STAR) credit.
If you’ve recently bought your home or you’ve never applied for the STAR benefit on your current home, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars each year. You only need to register for the STAR credit once, and you’ll continue to receive the annual benefit as long as you’re eligible.
Already registered for the STAR credit? Unless there’s been a change in ownership, please do not register again. We’ll review your information every year and automatically send you a STAR credit check if you’re eligible.
Are you eligible?
If you own your home, it’s your primary residence, and your income is $500,000 or less, you’re eligible for the Basic STAR credit.
If you’re a senior citizen with a qualifying income, you may be eligible for the Enhanced STAR credit.
For more information, see STAR eligibility.
STAR credit checks
When you register for the STAR credit, the Tax Department will automatically review your application to determine whether you’re eligible for the Basic or Enhanced STAR credit. As long as you’re eligible, you’ll receive a check for the amount of your benefit.
Senior citizens: If you qualify for the Enhanced STAR credit, you only need to register once. If you qualify for Enhanced STAR, you’ll automatically receive a check for the Enhanced benefit. You don’t need to register again in future years.
Note: If you’re a senior citizen, you should also be aware that there is a senior citizens exemption that may reduce your property tax bill if you qualify. This exemption has different income limits than STAR, and is administered by local assessors, not by the Tax Department. See Senior citizens exemption to learn more.
Before you start, have the following information at hand for reference. If you don’t have the necessary information, you won’t be able to save the registration to complete at a later time.
- names and social security numbers for all owners of the property and their spouses
- the primary residence of the owners and their spouses
- approximate date the owners purchased the property and the name of the sellers
- 2018 school tax bill, if the current owners received one (View examples.)
- address of any residential property owned in another state
- the legal name of the trust, if applicable
- 2017 federal or state income tax returns for all owners
Note: If you weren’t required to file a 2017 income tax return, you will need the following information for all property owners:
- total wages, salaries, and tips;
- taxable interest income and dividends;
- unemployment compensation;
- total pensions and annuities;
- Social Security benefits; and
- other income.
After you submit your registration, print a copy of the confirmation page and note your confirmation number. You’ll need it for verification purposes if you contact us later. If you provide your email address, you’ll receive an email with your confirmation code.
Note: You will be prompted to provide a Property Key, but it is not required to complete the registration.
Some factors that help determine whether a property is your primary residence include:
- vehicle registrations, and
- length of time spent each year at the property.
The Tax Department may also request proof of residency.
- Handout for new homeowners
- Property Tax Credit Lookup
- How to report your STAR credit
- STAR eligibility
- Types of STAR
- Questions and answers for homeowners
- STAR privacy notification