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STAR—Income Verification Program

Overview

The Income Verification Program allows eligible homeowners who apply or re-apply for Enhanced STAR to authorize New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to verify their income in subsequent years. This option is available only if the homeowner files a New York State resident income tax return.

Note: The information on this page does not apply to new STAR applicants. They will now register for the STAR credit with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, instead of applying for the exemption. See Register for the STAR credit to learn more.

Benefits

Participants in the Income Verification Program do not need to reapply each year. The Tax Department will automatically verify their income, based on their filed New York State personal income tax return.

The Income Verification Program is not mandatory, however if a senior citizen chooses not to participate, they must continue to reapply with their local assessor for Enhanced STAR each year and attach a copy of their tax return.

The assessor must then send them an application form every year, with a reminder that the homeowner must reapply for Enhanced STAR by taxable status date.

If a senior citizen who initially decided not to participate in the Income Verification Program later decides to opt in, they may do so and follow the procedure below.

 Procedure

A homeowner who received Basic STAR on their 2015-2016 School Tax bill and who is now an eligible senior may upgrade to Enhanced STAR and elect to participate in IVP as follows:

  1. Submit a paper application form (RP-425-E) to their local assessor by taxable status date.
  2. Include a copy of their federal or state income tax return for the applicable income tax year. (For example, a homeowner needs to provide their 2015 income tax return for the 2017 assessment rolls, and their 2016 income tax return for the 2018 assessment rolls.)
  3. Submit Form RP-425-IVP, STAR Income Verification Application, and provide their social security number at that time.

Participants in IVP do not need to reapply each year as long as they continue to file a New York State resident income tax return.

Assessor information

Maintenance Timeline

  • Mid-March: Editing phase begins the process on maintaining the Enhanced IVP web database.  At this time, records can be edited, added, or deleted.
      
  • Late September: Verification phase begins the process of matching the IVP data with income tax data. The web database is taken off-line, with no access for assessors.
     
  • Mid-November: Determinations for the assessment roll. The web database updated to reflect Tax Department findings.

See Processing schedule for the Income Verification Program for this year's dates.

Defining Determinations 

 Y income standard was satisfied.
N income standard was over requirement.
U income standard was unable to be determined.
C parcel is currently flagged to receive a STAR credit directly from the State.

Actions Required

The assessor mails a determination notification to the senior sixty days before taxable status date.

Resources for assessors

The notification:

      • advises the homeowner of the new income standard (with COLA adjustment),
      • reminds them that they have chosen to have their income eligibility verified by the Tax Department, and
      • reminds them that they must notify the assessor if:
        • their primary residence has changed or
        • there has been an ownership change.

Once the assessor notifies the senior that their Enhanced STAR benefit may be revoked or discontinued, the senior has the opportunity to:

      • present income documentation or
      • contest the matter before the Board of Assessment Review.

Though a senior authorizes the Tax Department to verify their income through IVP, it is still the assessor's responsibility to ensure that Enhanced STAR recipients continue to satisfy the residency and ownership requirements.

Updated: