Tax Relief Program Guide

Personal exemptions are a reduction in one’s tax obligation based upon the individual's particular personal circumstance as set forth in the Massachusetts General Laws. An exemption can provide partial or full relief of the tax obligation on real property.

Elderly

This exemption provides relief to seniors aged 65 and older who meet certain income, asset, and residency requirements. Qualified seniors receive a $1,000 reduction in their total real estate tax obligation. Income must be less than $24,886 if single or $37,329 if married.  Assets cannot exceed $40,000 if single or $55,000 if married.

Blind

This exemption provides relief to taxpayers who are legally blind and meet eligibility requirements. Taxpayers will receive a $500 reduction in their tax obligation.

Hardship

This exemption provides full or partial relief, at the discretion of the Board of Assessors, to those taxpayers who may be unable to meet their tax obligations by reason of age, infirmity, and poverty.  

Veteran

This exemption exists for veterans who have a service-connected disability of at least 10 percent and meet residency requirements. Qualified applicants can receive between $400 and $1500 off of their taxes.

Surviving spouse, elderly, minor child of deceased parent

Provided ownership, whole estate ($40,000), and residency requirements are met, taxpayers can receive a $175 reduction in their tax obligation.

Tax Deferral

Persons aged 65 or over who meet residency and income requirements can opt to defer 100 percent of their annual tax obligation at a rate of 4 percent until such time as they sell their property or the deferred amount equals 50 perecent of the home’s value.

Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit

Seniors can qualify for this state income tax credit if their property tax payments are greater than 10 percent of their annual income. For renters, the law assumes that 25 percent of rent goes toward property taxes. Accordingly, renters may claim as a credit the amount by which 25 percent of their annual rental payment exceeds 10 percent of their total income. For circuit breaker tax credit information, review the details provided by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue or call them at (617) 887-6367.

Other Important Notes

Applicants for these programs are normally required to bring their latest income tax filings, end of year social security statements, birth certificate, DD-214 and VA statement of disability, and relevant bank records. The eligibility date for all statutory exemptions is July 1.

All information provided is kept confidential and only reviewed by the Assessors to determine eligibility. It is recommended that all applications be filed with the Assessing Department before December 15th or within three months after the mailing of the actual tax bill, usually not later than March 31st. Also, exemptions are granted for one year only.  An application must be filed every year.

While there are other exemptions offered in accordance with state law, this guide serves to outline the most utilized exemptions available. If you think that you may be eligible for any of the exemptions contained herein or would like more detailed information, please feel free to contact us.

The information contained herein does not supercede the prevailing Massachusetts General Laws regarding statutory exemptions.