Military Veterans Can Claim New $3,000 Exemption

Apr 02, 2018

Veterans may not be aware of the $3,000 state income tax exemption that is newly available when for filing for the 2017 year and in the future.

“You are eligible for a $3,000 exemption on your income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or any time before the last day of the tax year,” states the New Jersey Division of Taxation. “This exemption is in addition to any other exemptions you are entitled to claim and is available on both the resident and nonresident returns.”

The rules state that to claim the exemption, “when completing your tax return, you must fill in the oval (resident return) or check the box (nonresident return) to indicate that you are claiming this exemption. Otherwise, the exemption(s) will be disallowed.”

Official documentation is required, “showing that you were honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty.”

The most common form of documentation provided is a copy of the applicant’s Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214.

The United States National Archives and Records Administration can assist with obtaining a copy of the DD-214. Says the N.J. Division of Taxation, “We can only accept documentation that lists your characteristic of service (discharge). You only need to submit a copy of your records the first time you claim the exemption, you do not need to provide this documentation each year.”

A person cannot claim this exemption for a domestic partner or for the applicant’s dependents. However, if filing a joint return, a spouse or civil union partner is also eligible for an exemption if he/she is a veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances.

The following directions are for claiming the Veteran Exemption for a deceased spouse.

“A taxpayer whose spouse died during the tax year can claim the deceased spouse’s veteran exemption if they file a joint New Jersey tax return and the spouse did not remarry by Dec. 31 of the tax year or were divorced/legally separated from the spouse on the date of death. The taxpayer (surviving spouse) may need to provide proof of eligibility. The taxpayer will not be able to claim the vet exemption for the deceased spouse in any subsequent year.”

More information on this and related topics pertaining to veterans can be found by typing “NJ Division of Taxation New Jersey Tax Guide Veterans in New Jersey” on the search line of Internet search engines such as Google; or by typing the following link: state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/military/vetexemption.shtml.  —M.S.

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