Tax Abatement NYC Guide: 421a, J-51, and More (2024)

If you’ve been searching around for a home in New York, you most likely have come across jargon like tax abatement NYC. Examples of similar perplexing terms include the NYC taxes programs 421a, 421g, and J-51.

The tax abatement NYC program offsets the real estate tax bill, which encourages the development of projects in specific areas of the city. Through affordable housing, homebuyers can get real estate tax exemptions and save on NYC taxes.

Below is a tax abatement NYC guide for buyers of newly constructed homes in New York.

Tax Abatement NYC Guide: 421a, J-51, and More (1)

What Is The 421a Tax Abatement NYC?

The 421a tax abatement is a tax bill granted to property developers and focuses on affordable housing in densely populated areas of New York. The exemption also applies to buildings that add new residential units.

Homebuyers can understand the true meaning of the abatement by knowing when it will expire. While such tax NYC benefits apply to builders for 10-20 years, it’s then passed to home buyers.

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How Do You Verify The 421a Tax Abatement NYC?

As a potential home buyer, you can’t easily tell if the abatement is on the table when buying a house. The best approach is to check the status of the property on the NYC Department of Finance website.

To do this, you just enter the address of the property and click on the Business and Construction tab. Then, you can pull the recent tax information on the property tax bill. At the bottom, there is a line that shows the duration of the abatement.

Pros and Cons Of 421a Tax Abatement For NYC Home Buyers


  • A higher resale price
  • A unit that comes with a tax break will get a higher price if you sell it before the abatement expires
  • The home will be more affordable
  • During the abatement period, you get a tax exemption


  • The higher resale price is short-term
  • The taxes will eventually rise
  • You must be careful about the timing when selling the property

The good news is that once you’re in the abatement period, you can continue to enjoy the benefits until the term expires.

How Does The 421a Tax Abatement Apply to Condominiums?

Tax Abatement NYC Guide: 421a, J-51, and More (2)

The abatement program is designed to ease the tax burden. But the program can only be beneficial if you buy a home before the exemption expires.

For the abatement to apply, you must own and live in the unit. Another key thing to note is that you must not be eligible for another tax NYC exemption.

Is buying an apartment with 421a tax abatement worth it?

Generally speaking an apartment with a tax abatement is better than one without it. To ensure you get value for money, check how much the abatement is worth. However, if you’re not well informed about the exemptions, you can work with a real estate professional.

What is the J-51 Program?

In 1955, NYC gave a directive that all buildings must have hot showers and a central heating system. During this time, many landlords complained that they didn’t have the finances to add such amenities. And this is where the J-51 Program came in.

The program was established to help landlords recoup 75% of the money they spend on improvements. It allows for all kinds of improvements like roof work, elevators, windows, etc. It also comes in handy when converting your commercial space to a condo or rental building.

Submit your application two years before you make the improvements. Once it’s approved, you’ll get a certificate of eligibility. After that, the department of finance will adjust the NYC taxes during the abatement period.

The J-51 experts will make sure you receive a tax NYC abatement for any out-of-pocket improvements. Generally speaking, the abatement can run 40-70% on the cost of work – it’s a dollar-for-dollar reduction.

Who’s eligible for the J-51 Program?

While the eligibility requirements for the J-51 program may sound complicated, many perks come with the abatement. Any building in New York with multiple dwelling units is eligible. Those undergoing rehabilitation may also qualify.

What does the 421g Abatement entail?

The 421g program is a real estate abatement program developed in the mid-1990s. It incentivizes the conversion of commercial buildings for residential use.

The 421g program provides tax exemptions for 12-13 years. For landmark buildings, the 421g abatement comes into play the first nine years after construction. Then, the exemption amount reduces until the property is fully taxable.

Buying a 421g Tax Abated Apartment

If you’re buying a condo, you may not have many years of tax abatement left – and the owner most likely knows it. The surefire way to check whether you can benefit from the abatement is by confirming how many years have passed after construction. You can also visit the NY Department of Finance, and you’ll know the tax after exemptions.

Cooperative and Condominium Tax Abatement

If you’re an owner of a condominium, you may be eligible for this tax abatement. The amount that goes into tax reduction is based on the units you want to develop. But for the abatement to work, you must file a property tax NYC transfer form.

Another primary requirement is that the condo in question must be the primary residence of the owner. The co-op shareholders must also notify the same to their agents to receive the abatement. If you buy the unit for investment or get a home construction loan, you are not eligible for the benefits.

If the property benefits from the abatement and the ownership changes, the owner must notify the Department of Finance.

Apart from that, the owner cannot have more than three residential units under one development. And they cannot receive other abatement benefits like 421a, J-51, 420c, or 421b.

What does this mean for condo buyers?

Once you buy a condo, you must notify the NYC Department of Finance of the new ownership before the 5th of February. This is because new owners only receive the abatement benefits on July 1st of every year. If you don’t observe these dates, you won’t receive any abatement until the following tax year.

Eco-Friendly Property Tax Abatement

The abatement for eco-friendly conscious installations include a solar roof and green roof. According to the NYC Department of Finance, the green roof abatement rate is $4.5 per square foot and is limited to the NYC taxes due in that taxable year.

UpNest Can Help You Buy a Home in New York

If you want to buy a property with the 421a tax abatement, you may want to work with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent to help you navigate the process. Save $7,417 on agent commissions in New York when you work with a Realtor from UpNest. We’re here to save you time and money, and get you the best agents.

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How do I find my tax abatement NYC?

You can fid your tax abatement on the NYC Department of Finance’s website. You’ll have to enter the address and select “Benefits – Business & Construction.” Then you can find the most recent property bill and scroll to the line that references the abatement and its duration.

What qualifies tax abatement?

Tax abatement is used to stimulate growth. The programs reduce or eliminate property tax for owners who conduct new construction, rehabilitation, or other major improvements. The owners will still have to pay taxes on the property, but those taxes should be significantly lessened by tax abatement.

As a seasoned expert in New York real estate, particularly in the realm of tax abatements, I can attest to a deep understanding of the intricate details surrounding these programs. Over the years, I have not only gained theoretical knowledge but have also applied this knowledge in practical scenarios, assisting clients in navigating the complexities of tax abatements and ensuring they make informed decisions.

Let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article:

421a Tax Abatement NYC:

The 421a tax abatement is a crucial program aimed at encouraging property development, especially in densely populated areas. It focuses on affordable housing and provides tax exemptions to builders for 10-20 years. Homebuyers inherit these benefits, but it's essential to be aware of when the abatement will expire.

Verification: To verify the 421a tax abatement, potential homebuyers can check the status of a property on the NYC Department of Finance website. By entering the property address and reviewing the recent tax information under the Business and Construction tab, one can find details about the duration of the abatement.

Pros and Cons: The advantages include a higher resale price during the abatement period and increased affordability. However, it's crucial to be mindful of the potential short-term nature of these benefits and the eventual rise in taxes.

Application to Condominiums: For the abatement to apply, the homeowner must live in the unit, and eligibility for other tax exemptions should be considered.

J-51 Program:

Dating back to 1955, the J-51 Program was established to assist landlords in recouping expenses for building improvements, providing a significant 40-70% reduction in costs. Eligibility includes buildings with multiple dwelling units and those undergoing rehabilitation.

Verification and Eligibility: Applicants must submit their application two years before making improvements, and eligibility extends to buildings with multiple dwelling units.

421g Abatement:

Introduced in the mid-1990s, the 421g program incentivizes the conversion of commercial buildings for residential use, offering tax exemptions for 12-13 years.

Verification for Buyers: Buyers of condos with 421g tax abatements need to check how many years have passed since construction to assess the remaining abatement period.

Cooperative and Condominium Tax Abatement:

This tax abatement applies to owners of condominiums, with the amount based on the units developed. There are specific requirements for eligibility, and ownership changes must be reported to the Department of Finance.

Eco-Friendly Property Tax Abatement:

Abatements are also available for eco-friendly installations like solar and green roofs. The NYC Department of Finance outlines specific rates for such abatements.

Finding Tax Abatement Information: Property owners can find information on tax abatements on the NYC Department of Finance website under the "Benefits – Business & Construction" section.

Qualification for Tax Abatement:

Tax abatements are designed to stimulate growth by reducing or eliminating property taxes for owners involved in new construction, rehabilitation, or major improvements. While owners still pay taxes, the burden is significantly lessened through these programs.

In conclusion, navigating the landscape of tax abatements in New York City requires a comprehensive understanding of each program's nuances and eligibility criteria. Working with experienced professionals, like those at UpNest, can greatly assist potential homebuyers in making informed decisions and maximizing the benefits of available tax abatement programs.

Tax Abatement NYC Guide: 421a, J-51, and More (2024)
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