Assemblyman RYAN E. PETERS
District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)
Assemblywoman JEAN STANFIELD
District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)
Assemblyman JAY WEBBER
District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Provides gross income tax deduction to certain surviving spouses of veterans.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act allowing certain surviving spouses of veterans a deduction against gross income and amending N.J.S.54A:3-1.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.54A:3-1 is amended to read as follows:
54A:3-1. Personal exemptions and deductions. Each taxpayer shall be allowed personal exemptions and deductions against his gross income as follows:
(a) Taxpayer. Each taxpayer shall be allowed a personal exemption of $1,000.00 which may be taken as a deduction from his New Jersey gross income.
(b) Additional exemptions. In addition to the personal exemptions allowed in (a), the following additional personal exemptions shall be allowed as a deduction from gross income:
1. For the taxpayer's spouse, or domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3), who does not file separately - $1,000.00.
2. For each dependent who qualifies as a dependent of the taxpayer during the taxable year for federal income tax purposes - $1,500.00.
3. Taxpayer 65 years of age or over at the close of the taxable year - $1,000.00.
4. Taxpayer's spouse 65 years of age or over at the close of the taxable year - $1,000.00.
5. Blind or disabled taxpayer - $1,000.00.
6. Blind or disabled spouse - $1,000.00.
7. Taxpayer who is a veteran honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active duty status, as those terms are used in N.J.S.38A:1-1 - $6,000.
8. (A) Taxpayer who is the surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran - $3,000.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph:
“Qualifying veteran” means an individual who dies while on, was honorably discharged from, or was released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active duty status, as those terms are used in N.J.S.38A:1-1.
“Surviving spouse” means the person to whom a qualifying veteran was married, or a domestic partner as defined in section 3
of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-3), on the date of the death of the qualifying veteran and:
(i) who lived with the qualifying veteran continuously from the date of marriage to the date of the qualifying veteran's death, except where there was a separation that was due to the misconduct of, or caused by, the qualifying veteran without the fault of the spouse; and
(ii) except as provided in paragraph (C) of this subsection, has not remarried or has not since the death of the qualifying veteran lived with another person and held himself out openly to the public to be the spouse of that other person.
(C) A surviving spouse who remarries shall be eligible for the personal exemption allowed under this paragraph if the remarriage:
(i) was void;
(ii) has been annulled by a court having basic authority to render annulment decrees, unless the director determines that the annulment was obtained through fraud by either party or by collusion; or
(iii) occurred after the surviving spouse attained the age of 57.
(c) Special Rule. The personal exemptions allowed under this section shall be limited to that percentage which the total number of months within a taxpayer's taxable year under this act bears to 12. For this purpose 15 days or more shall constitute a month.
(d) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1993, c.178).
(e) Nonresidents. For taxable years to which a certification pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1993, c.320 (C.54A:2-1.2) applies, a nonresident taxpayer shall be allowed the same deduction for personal exemptions as a resident taxpayer. However, if (1) the nonresident taxpayer's gross income which is subject to tax under this act is exceeded by (2) the gross income which the nonresident taxpayer would be required to report under this act if the taxpayer were a resident by more than $100.00, the taxpayer's deduction for personal exemptions shall be limited by the percentage which (1) is to (2).
(cf: P.L.2019, c.146)
2. This act shall take effect immediately and apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 1 next following the date of enactment.
This bill provides an annual exemption under the New Jersey gross income tax, in the amount of $3,000, to a taxpayer who is the surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran of active duty military service. Under current law, a taxpayer who is a veteran honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the United States Armed Forces or a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active duty status, may be eligible to receive a gross income tax exemption in the amount of $3,000 for each taxable year in which the veteran qualifies.
This bill extends the a gross income tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a veteran who has died while on active duty; was honorably discharged from active duty; or was released from active duty under honorable circumstances. If a surviving spouse remarries or cohabitates with another person and holds that person out to be his spouse, he becomes no longer eligible to receive the exemption. A surviving spouse who remarries remains eligible for the personal exemption if the remarriage was void or has been annulled, unless it is determined that the annulment was obtained through fraud or collusion, or if the surviving spouse remarries after the age of 57.
The eligibility of a surviving spouse to receive the benefit allowed by this bill is modeled on federal regulations governing the eligibility of a surviving spouse to receive Death (Survivor’s) Pension benefits from the federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs.