Exemptions and Deferrals

Personal Exemptions

You may be eligible to reduce all or a portion of the taxes assessed on your home if you meet the qualifications for one of the personal exemptions allowed under Massachusetts law.  Income, age and disability are some of the criteria use to qualify individuals.  You are encouraged to contact the Board of Assessors' Office if you feel you qualify for an exemption.

Who May File An Application: If you meet all the qualifications for a personal exemption by July 1 you may file.  Administrators or executors of a person who meets the qualifications as of July 1 may also file.

When And Where Must The Application Be Filed:  You must file your application with the Board of Assessors by December 15 or 3 months after the actual bills were mailed for the fiscal year, whichever is later.  This deadline is fixed by law and cannot be waived or extended by the Board of Assessors.

The asset and income limits listed below have been calculated for FY2015.

Elderly Exemption Under Clause 41C

Qualifications:  You must be age 70 by July 1, own and occupy the real estate for at least 5 years and meet the income and asset limits listed below.
Exemption Amount: $500.00

Income Limits
Single Person $18,577*
Married Persons with Joint Ownership $22,660*
Note: Includes income from all sources:  Wages, Social Security, Pensions, Interest, Dividends, Rent, etc. Proof must be shown of income received, W-2, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, etc.        
Asset Limits
Single Person $40,014*
Married Persons $42,869*
Note: Assets include bank accounts, checking accounts, stocks, bonds,401Ks IRAs, saving certificates, motor vehicles, boats, real estate, etc.  The value of your domicile, including up to a 3-unit dwelling, is exempt.

 
Exemption Under Clause 17D

Qualifications: A surviving spouse, minor child, or persons over 70 who are not eligible for exemptions under Clause 41C, AND who meet the asset limits listed below. Income is not considered.  July 1 qualification date.
Exemption Amount: $273.00

Asset Limits
May not exceed $57,161*
Note: Assets include bank accounts, checking accounts, stocks, bonds,401Ks IRAs, saving certificates, motor vehicles, boats, real estate, etc.  The value of your domicile, including up to a 3-unit dwelling, is exempt.

 
* COLA adjusted annually.  Documentation must be provided.  The cost of living adjustment (COLA) is measured by the increase in the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) during the previous calendar year.

Disabled Veteran Exemption Under Clause 22

Qualifications: Disability certificate must be provided from the Veterans Administration.
Exemption Amount:  As listed in the chart below.

Veterans Exemptions**
V1 Clause 22 (a-f) 10% War-time service connected disability
Veterans awarded purple hearts
Spouses (property not owned by spouse)
Surviving spouses of 22 (a-c) veterans
$400.00
V2 Clause 22A Lost of use - service connected $750.00
V3 Clause 22E 100% Service connected disability $1,000.00

 
** These are the most common Veteran's exemptions.  See the complete list provided by the Division of Local Services.

Blind Person Exemption Under Clause 37

Qualifications: Must be registered with the Division of the Blind.  A certificate to that effect must be provided yearly for the July 1 qualification date.

Exemption Amount: $437.50

 

Tax Deferral Under Clause 41A

Qualifying persons may apply to have the tax on their domicile deferred under Clause 41A. Tax on your property is still owed, but payment may be deferred until the property owner passes, or the home is sold.  A lien will be placed on the property for the tax owed and simple interest accruing at 8%.
 
To qualify to apply for tax deferral, you must:

  • have owned and occupied the property for 5 years
  • be age 65 or older by July 1
  • have income at or below $20,000

Assets are not considered for a deferral.