The Low Income Senior tax exemption is available to homeowners age 65 and over with a gross income of $35,400 or less. This exemption can apply to County, Town, School & Village taxes depending on your income level. Each taxing jurisdiction has its own income level. You can only apply for this exemption on your primary residence.
owner Eligibility Requirements
- The property must be the “legal residence” of, and must be occupied by, all of the owners of the property.
- You must own the property for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of filing for the exemption, unless you received the exemption on your previous residence or your prior residence was located in NYS.
- The life tenant is entitled to possession and use of the property for the duration of his or her life and is deemed the owner for all purposes, including taxation. The exemption also may be allowed if the property is in trust and all the trustees or all the beneficiaries qualify.
- Manufactured homes on leased land can qualify for the senior citizens exemption. If home is located in a manufactured home park, you are entitled to a reduction in rent for the amount of the taxes paid.
You cannot receive the senior citizens exemption if the income of the owner, or the combined income of all the owners, exceeds $35,400.
If you are married, the income of your spouse must be included in the total unless your spouse is absent from the residence due to a legal separation, divorce or abandonment.
For the 2022-2023 tax year, the Town of Cheektowaga is reviewing income earned in 2020!
- all Social Security payments, salary and wages (including bonuses)
- interest (including nontaxable interest on state or local bonds)
- total dividends, net earning from farming, rentals, business or profession (including amounts claimed as depreciation for income tax purposes – see ORPTS Opinion of Counsel 5-30)
- income from estates or trusts
- gains from sales or exchanges
- the total amount received from governmental or private retirement or pension plans
- annuity payments (excluding amounts representing a return of capital)
- unemployment insurance payments
- disability payments
- workers compensation
- Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contributions
- earnings on IRAs
- veteran’s compensation (exceptions for County, Town & Cheektowaga Central)
Income does not include:
- supplemental Security Income
- welfare payments
- payments received as participants in the Federal Foster Grandparents Program
- a return of capital
- reparation payments received by Holocaust survivors
- distributions from IRAs***
***An IRA distribution is not counted if the return on capital (interest, dividends, capital gains) is provided. If we are unable to determine what is return on capital (interest) or return of capital (distribution), the entire distribution will be considered income.
Each of the owners of the property must be 65 years of age or over, unless the owners are:
- husband and wife, or
- siblings (having at least one common parent) and
- one of the owners is at least 65.
The first time you apply for the exemption, you must give satisfactory proof of your age & residency.
Acceptable forms of proof:
- Driver’s License (stickers on the back will not be accepted)
- Voter’s Registration
- Auto Registration
- Current Paystub
Senior citizens are generally not eligible for the senior citizens exemption if they have children living in their home and attending public school. If the child attends a private or parochial school, the senior can still receive the exemption. Children of tenants attending public school would prohibit the senior citizens exemption for school tax purposes.
School districts can opt to offer the exemption to seniors even if the children in their home are attending public school. However, the school district must require satisfactory proof that the child was not brought into the residence primarily for the purpose of attending a particular school within the district.
To apply for the first time, please complete & submit the application below. The application must be accompanied by proof of income earned in 2020 (federal & state tax returns or 1099’s). Proof of age & residency must also accompany the application. The instructions below recap all the necessary information needed to apply.
If you do not file taxes you must use the instructions below to request a tax transcript from the IRS. They will send a letter to you proving no taxes were file for 2020 and we can use that letter supplemental proof that no additional income exists.
To renew your Low Income Senior exemption, complete & submit the application below. Proof of your income earned in 2020 (federal & state tax returns or 1099’s) must accompany your completed & signed application. The instructions below recap all the necessary information needed to apply.