Credit or Exemption for Surviving Spouses, Minor Children of Deceased Parents, and Persons Over Age 70 with Local Option (Clause 17- 17F)

State

Massachusetts

Year

2020

Variations in Receipt of Benefit

No Variation in Receipt of Benefits

Benefit Type

Credit

Exemption

Benefit

The baseline benefit is the greater of a $2,000 exemption of taxable property value or a $175 credit on the property tax bill. By local option, cities and towns may increase the benefit amount annually up to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Applications must be filed annually by 1 April, or three months after the actual tax bills are mailed, whichever is later.

How is Benefit Disbursed

Other

Eligible Property Type

Residential

Characteristics of Eligible Property

Only residential property owned and inhabited by eligible Massachusetts residents is eligible for this program.

Eligibility Criteria

Age

Homeowner

Principal Residence

Wealth Limit

Surviving Spouse

Other Criteria

Description of Eligibility Criteria

This incentive is available to surviving spouses, minor children of deceased parents, and persons over age 70 who own residential property and have total estates including real and personal property not exceeding $20,000 (though cities and towns may adopt provisions increasing the wealth limit and exemption amounts for real property). Ownership interests are satisfied if: (a) the person’s interest in the domicile is worth at least $2,000, (b) the person is a holder of life estate, or (c) the domicile is held in a trust and the person is a trustee or co-trustee or possesses a significant beneficial interest in the trust.

Local Option in Adoption of Program

Local government is unable to exercise an option

Local Option Regarding Program Features

Local option regarding program features

State Funding for Local Tax Loss

State and local government share the local tax loss

Description of State Funding for Tax Loss

When the whole estate of the person receiving the incentive exceeds $10,000, the state treasurer shall reimburse the city or town for the amount of tax which otherwise would have been collected. When cities and towns adopt increases in the wealth eligibility limit or adjust benefits based on increases to the CPI, the state treasury reimbursements to the cities and towns will remain at an amount equal to the reimbursement granted for the most recent fiscal year prior to adoption of expanded eligibility criteria.

Record ID

MA101_RR20

Footnotes

Applications must be filed yearly with the local assessors. In calculating personal estate values, cemetery plots, wearing apparel, and household furniture and effects are excluded. With limited exceptions, homeowners are only eligible for one exemption under chapter 59, section 5. If they qualify for more than one exemption, they will receive the one with the greatest benefit.

Sources

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 59, § 5-17 ~ § 5-17F (in effect for 2020)
Massachusetts Division of Local Services Taxpayers Guide to Local Property Tax Exemptions for Seniors, Surviving Spouses, and Minor Children of Deceased Parents (2016)
[https://www.mass.gov/doc/qualifying-surviving-spouses-minor-children-and-elderly-persons/download Accessed 10/15/2021]
View Archived Source

Massachusetts Department of Revenue State Tax Form 96-6 Application for Statutory Exemption for Seniors, Surviving Spouses, Minor Children (2017)
[https://www.mass.gov/doc/form-96-6-application-for-personal-property-tax-exemptions-for-seniors-surviving-spouses-or/download Accessed 10/15/2021]
View Archived Source
Property Tax Forms and Guides, Massachusetts Department of Revenue
[https://www.mass.gov/lists/property-tax-forms-and-guides Accessed 10/15/2021]

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