Tax Assistance and Deferral Programs
As provided by state law, the Board of Assessors administers tax assistance programs for various eligible taxpayers. These programs are summarized briefly below. Any additional information can be obtained by contacting the Office of Assessment Administration at (508) 647-6420 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications must be filed every year by April 1st.
All exemptions have ownership, occupancy, and other qualifications that must be met as of July 1st of the fiscal year.
Is your property in a trust? Trust documentation must be provided. Generally, to qualify as the property owner, you must be a trustee and beneficiary of the trust.
VETERANS CLAUSES 22, 22A, 22B, 22C, 22D, 22E
To qualify, the taxpayer must be a veteran, or the spouse of a veteran, or the parents of a veteran and:
- must be a veteran or spouse of a veteran and
- have a service-connected disability of 10% or more or
- have been awarded the Purple Heart or
- Gold Star parents or
- be a veteran of the Spanish, Philippine, or Chinese Expedition or
- have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross, or Navy Cross
Exemption granted varies based on qualifications
BLIND PERSONS CLAUSE 37A
To qualify, the taxpayer must
- be a legal resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- own and occupy the property as his/her domicile as of July 1st
- provide annually the current certificate of blindness issued by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
Exemption granted is $787.50 for FY20
OLDER CITIZENS CLAUSE 41C
To qualify, a taxpayer:
- must be over 65 years of age as of July 1, 2019 AND
- must have primary residence in Massachusetts for ten years AND owned property in the state for five years AND must have occupied property as of July 1 ,2019 AND
- must have a whole estate (the value of personal property excluding domicile) of less than $40,000 if single, $55,000 if married AND
- must have an income less than $20,000 if single, $30,000 if married, after subtracting an allowable exclusion.
Exemption granted is $1,575.00 for FY20
ELDERLY, SURVIVING SPOUSE, MINOR CHILD CLAUSE 17D
To qualify, a taxpayer:
- must be over 70 years of age as of July 1, 2019 OR must be a surviving spouse or surviving minor child
- must have owned and occupied the property for five years AND
- must have a whole estate (the value of personal property less domicile) of less than $40,000.
Exemption granted is $275.63 for FY20
Note that 41C and 17D recipients are automatically qualified for the water/sewer discount program and free quarterly trash bag program.
OLDER CITIZENS-PROPERTY TAX DEFERRAL CLAUSE 41A
- must be over, 65 years of age as of July 1, 2019 AND
- must have primary residence in Massachusetts for ten years AND owned property in the state for five years AND must have occupied property as of July 1, 2019 AND
- must have an income of less than $56,000 per year.
Upon approval, taxpayer is entitled to defer (delay) payment of any portion of the property tax bill at 2.0% interest. All taxes are recovered upon transfer or sale of the property (16%).
Note that if there is an outstanding mortgage on the property, the bank or mortgage holder must sign off on the deferral agreement.
Documentation needed for these exemptions (41C,17D,41A) include:
- Copy of birth certificate or driver’s license
- Copy of death certificate (if surviving spouse)
- Most recent year’s state and/or federal income tax return, including all schedules
- Social security benefit statement (form SSA-1099)
- Copies of 1099 for all other pensions, dividend, and interest accounts
- Bank statement copies to verify all account balances as of July 1, 2019 including:checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, IRA’s, CD’s, annuities, mutual funds
OTHER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
The Town, through multiple departments offers other programs intended to help those in need. In addition, certain seniors who own or rent residential property as their principal residence are eligible for a refundable tax credit through the state Circuit Breaker tax relief program.
You may be eligible to receive assistance in paying a portion of the real estate taxes assessed on your residence if you meet the criteria and if adequate funding is available. Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 60 Section 3D authorizes voluntary contributions by citizens to a Tax Relief Fund.