- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Thousands of eligible applicants may not have received New Jersey’s property tax credit, according to a new review of the Homestead Benefit program.

The audit found that about 19,000 applicants missed out on $10 million because they had sold their homes by the time the state issued the most recent Homestead Benefit - a year and a half late.

The audit, released Tuesday, said the homeowners who received a revised property tax bill in May were not the same homeowners who paid the 2012 property tax bill and filed the application.

The application instructs homeowners to work out the credit with buyers during closing or make a note on the application to receive a rebate check instead.

Homeowners waited 13 months for their 2011 rebate and 17 months for the 2012 rebate. The audit said the time lapse increased the number of sellers who weren’t given the opportunity to indicate a home sale on their application.

Division of Taxation Acting Director Dennis Shilling agreed to use sales data to determine if an applicant should receive a check instead of a credit, NJ.com (http://bit.ly/1ITS398 ) reported.

The audit also found that the state sent out $2.6 million in nearly 5,000 benefits to dead applicants. Overall, the state paid $365 million in credits in May.

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Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

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