Taxpayer Exemption Guide

Fiscal Year 2023; effective July 1, 2022

This guide is intended to inform taxpayers about some of the many tax relief programs available to them. The Town of Wakefield is committed to assisting our senior population with information about programs that may lower their financial burden. This guide also informs non-elderly persons about programs they in which they may be eligible.

Personal exemptions are a reduction in one’s tax obligation based upon their 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.

FY23 Exemption Applications can be printed via our website (see below) and mailed or dropped off at the box labeled Tax Collector outside of Town Hall (along the sidewalk near the accessible parking spaces).

Applications will not be accepted until after July 1, 2022.


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 (on your 2021 year end taxes) must be less than $28,680 if single or $43,023 if married in 2021. Assets cannot exceed $40,000 if single or $55,000 if married.

  • Senior Exemption Application: Please include income and assets as of the end of calendar year 2021. First time applicants must include a copy of their 2021 taxes and driver’s license or birth certificate.


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


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.


This exemption exists for veterans who have a service-connected disability of at least 10% and meet residency requirements. Qualified applicants can receive between $400 and $1,500 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% of their annual tax obligation at a rate of 4% until such time as they sell their property or the deferred amount equals 50% of the home’s value.

Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit

For circuit breaker tax credit information, please contact the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at (617) 887-6367 or online at Massachusetts Department of Revenue 

What you need to apply for the Circuit Breaker Credit

As a senior citizen, you may be eligible to claim a refundable credit on your personal state income tax return. The Circuit Breaker tax credit is based on the actual real estate taxes paid on the Massachusetts residential property you own or rent and occupy as your principal residence.

For tax year 2021, the maximum credit amount is $1,170. If the credit you're owed exceeds the amount of the total tax payable for the year, you'll be refunded the additional amount of the credit without interest.

Who is eligible:

  • You must be a Massachusetts resident or part-year resident.
  • You must be 65 or older by January 1, 2022.
  • You must first file a Massachusetts personal income tax return.
  • You must then file a Schedule CB. 
  • You must own or rent residential property in Massachusetts and occupy it as your primary residence.
  • For tax year 2021, your total Massachusetts income doesn't exceed:
    • $62,000 for a single individual who is not the head of a household.
    • $78,000 for a head of household.
    • $93,000 for married couples filing a joint return.
  • If you are a homeowner, your Massachusetts property tax payments, together with half of your water and sewer expense, must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.
  • If you are a renter, 25% of your annual Massachusetts rent must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.

Who is not eligible:

  • You are a nonresident.
  • You are married and your status is married filing separately.
  • You are a dependent of another taxpayer.
  • You receive a federal and/or state rent subsidy or you rent from a tax-exempt entity.
  • For tax year 2021, the assessed value of principal residence exceeds $884,000
  • For homeowners, the assessed valuation of the homeowner's personal residence as of January 1, 2020, before residential exemptions but after abatements exceeds 884,000

Other Important Notes

  • Applicants for the various 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 15 or within three months after the mailing of the actual tax bill, usually not later than March 31.
  • 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 the Town of Wakefield Assessing Department at 781-246-6380.

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