Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE)

A property tax break for seniors who own one-, two-, or three-family homes, condominiums, or cooperative apartments.

Thanks to changes in city and state law, the SCHE and DHE (Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption) tax breaks are now available to homeowners with a combined annual income of $58,399 or less.


How to Apply for Your SCHE Benefit

Applying for the First Time

If you are not currently receiving the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption, you may submit an online application for tax year 2020-21, which begins on July 1, 2020.

You may also apply by downloading and mailing a paper application:

The deadline to apply for SCHE for tax year 2020-21 is March 15, 2020.

Renewing Your Benefit

The SCHE benefit must be renewed every two years. The Department of Finance will send you a renewal application when it is time to renew your benefit. You must renew your exemption by March 15, 2020, or your property taxes could increase significantly.

You also have the option to renew online:

For general assistance, please email recertify@finance.nyc.gov or call 311.


Age All owners of the property must be 65 or older, unless the owners are spouses or siblings. If you own the property with a spouse or sibling, only one of you must meet this age requirement.
Income The total combined annual income of the property owner and spouse or co-owner cannot exceed $58,399. Income includes, but is not limited to, Social Security, retirement benefits, interest, dividends, IRA earnings, capital gains, net rental income, salary or wages, and net income from self-employment.
Ownership 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 previously-owned residence.
Residency All owners must occupy the property as their primary residence except in cases of divorce, legal separation, or abandonment. Owners receiving in-patient care at a residential health care facility may be eligible for the exemption. In any of these circumstances, the only person who can live at the property is the spouse or co-owner.

Note: You cannot receive both SCHE and DHE (Disabled Homeowners' Exemption). If you qualify for both, you will receive SCHE.

 

You must write in your income on your renewal application. If you do not provide an estimated income, it will delay the processing of your application.

The total combined income for all owners of the property should include documentation of every source of income earned by every owner of the property for the calendar year prior to submitting this application. Total combined income includes, but is not limited to, W2s, 1099s, Social Security statements, and retirement benefits.

You can estimate your total combined income here

If your income is between
SCHE can reduce your home's assessed value by
$57,500 and $58,399 5%
$56,600 and $57,499 10%
$55,700 and $56,599 15%
$54,800 and $55,699 20%
$53,900 and $54,799 25%
$53,000 and $53,899 30%
$52,000 and $52,999 35%
$51,000 and $51,999 40%
$50,001 and $50,999 45%
$0 and $50,000 50%

You must renew your Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption every two years in order to continue receiving it. You will receive a notice from the Department of Finance when it is time to file your renewal application. For more information, please see the Renewals FAQ.

Visit the Ways to Save page to learn about other tax breaks for which you might be eligible.

If you wish to remove a previously granted exemption, you may complete the Application to Remove Previously Granted Exemption(s).


Need Help? Contact 311 or  Email Us.