Homeowners and renters are missing out on millions of dollars in tax relief. Use the resources below to learn more.
Massachusetts Program Overview
Property Tax-Aide features Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit and Credit or Exemption for Senior Persons in Massachussets.
Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit
The maximum credit amount for tax year 2023 is $2,590. 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.
- You must be a Massachusetts resident
- You must own or rent residential property in Massachusetts and occupy the property as your primary residence. If your principal residence is owned by a grantor trust, and either you or your spouse is a trustee, then you would qualify as a homeowner.
- You must be 65 or older by December 31 of the tax year
- For tax year 2023, the taxpayer's "total income" cannot exceed $69,000 for a single individual who is not the head of a household, $86,000 for a head of household, and $103,000 for married couples filing a joint return
- For homeowner, your Massachusetts property tax payments with half of your water and sewer use charge must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income
- For a renter, 25% of your annual Massachusetts rent must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income.
- For tax year 2023, the assessed valuation, before the residential exemptions but after abatements, of the homeowner's principal residence may not exceed $1,025,000.
- No credit is allowed if the taxpayer claims the status of married filing separate, receives a federal or state rent subsidy, rents from a tax-exempt entity, or is a dependent of another taxpayer.
The Schedule CB must be completed within 3 years from the last day for filing the return, without regard to any extension of time to file. The filing date for the 2022 return was April 18, 2023.
If you forgot to file a 2022 Schedule CB with your 2022 Massachusetts personal income tax return, you should file an amended return with your 2022 Schedule CB and complete the following.
- Fill in the Amended return oval on your income tax return and submit:
- Schedule CB
- Real estate tax bills and/or the actual tax paid, or proof of rent paid
- Sewer and water bills or proof of the actual amount paid
If you qualify for the Circuit Breaker credit in a prior tax year but didn’t file Schedule CB with your original Massachusetts income tax return, you should follow the same procedure as above, except file a prior year Schedule CB for the year you qualify.
- Schedule CB
- Massachusetts personal income tax return (Form 1) which requires that your file copies of your Forms W-2, W-2G, PWH-WA, 2G and any Forms 1099 which included Massachusetts withholding.
- Amounts added back to Massachusetts AGI in computing qualifying income for Schedule CB include income from Social Security, retirement, pension or annuities, cash public assistance, tax-exempt interest and dividends, net capital losses, long-term capital losses, certain capital gains, income from a partnership or trust not otherwise included in the taxpayer’s Massachusetts AGI.
For more information about this program, please visit the official Massachusetts Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit webpage
To file for prior years:
Form 1 and Schedule CB can be filed electronically. If mailing return, for returns that are expecting a refund or have no tax due, mail to Massachusetts Department of Revenue P.O. Box 7000 Boston, MA 02204-7000.
If you have a tax due, mail your return to Massachusetts Department of Revenue P.O. Box 7003 Boston, MA 02204-7003.
If you own a multi-family home, mixed-use property, or your principal residence has a land area in excess of one acre, contact your local city or town’s collector’s office if you have any questions in determining the amount of real estate taxes paid in calendar year 2022 for your principal residence.
Senior Exemption (Clause 41C)
- For the basic exemption, you must be 70 years old prior to the year applying.
- Locally adopted exemptions in cities and towns, the age requirement may be reduced to age to 65.
- You must own and occupy the property as your domicile. Your domicile is where your principal and legal home is located. You may have only one domicile.
- Must have lived in Massachusetts for 10 years, which may be reduced to 5 years at local option, and the property for any 5 years.
- Your ownership interests must be at least $4,000.
- The basic exemption has no income limit.
- Whole Estate/Asset cannot exceed $40,000, if single, or $55,000, if married.
- For the basic exemption, the gross receipts may range from $6,000 for single non-head of household to $7,000, if married. Alternatively, the income level limit is the limit for the circuit breaker credit.
- The gross receipts limit may increase annually by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) determined by the DOR each year.
- You must file an application for each fiscal year with the assessors in the city or town where your property is located.
- The application is due on April 1, or three months after the actual tax bills are mailed, whichever is later.
- By law, the assessors may not waive this filing deadline, nor act on a late application, for any reason. Filing an application does not entitle you to delay your tax payment.
- Birth Certificate (first time filing only)
- Income Tax Return(s), documentation of income, or complete 4506T
- If applicable, copy of Trust. If the domicile is held in a trust, the applicant must satisfy the ownership requirement if he/she is a trustee or co-owner of the trust and possess a sufficient beneficial interest in the domicile through the trust.
- Bank Statements or Bank Form
- Completed application
For a comprehensive guide to this program, see The Taxpayer’s Guide to Property Tax Exemptions
Your state accepts digital and mailed applications
Property Tax-Aide has independently selected the property tax relief programs featured on this website that we think are the most relevant and beneficial to older adults. It is not an exhaustive list of all property tax relief programs available in each state. Please consult your local tax agency for a comprehensive listing of property tax relief programs in your area.