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Property Tax Credit in Massachusetts

My husband says Massachusetts has some kind credit for seniors who pay property taxes. I can't find any information on it. Is he right or, as usual, wrong?  (Posted by SusanG on The Forum.)


Editor's Response:



Ouch. I am sure that your husband is frequently right, as he is in this case. Perhaps you have not been able to find information about this credit because the Massachusetts legislature decided no name it "The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit." I don't know why. In any case, if you are a Massachusetts resident who is 65 or over and you paid property tax or rent during the tax year, you may qualify. Here's how:


1. If you own a home assessed at $793,000 or less, and if your property taxes (plus 50 percent of your water and sewer bill) exceed ten percent of your income, then your credit will equal the amount of that excess, up to a $930 credit. (Example: If your total income is $30,000 and your property tax bill plus half or your water/sewer bill equals $4,000, then you would be entitled to the entire $930 credit, because your property tax and water liability exceeds ten percent of your income ($3,000) by $1,000).


2. If you rent, you can claim the credit if 25 percent of your total annual rent exceeds ten percent of your annual income. However, renters in subsidized apartments are not eligible.


Also note that there are income restrictions for this credit. To qualify you must not make more than $49,000 if you are an individual, $62,000 for heads of households, and $74,000 for couples filing jointly. And, if you are married, to qualify you must file jointly. For more information, go to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's web site.


For more information or to post a question, visit our Massachusetts Estate Planning Discussion Forum.

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