Property Tax Deferral for Persons Aged 65 or Older (Clause 41A)





Variations in Receipt of Benefit

No Variation in Receipt of Benefits

Benefit Type



The benefit is a deferral of annual property taxes for qualifying seniors. Individual deferral and recovery agreements are established annually between the taxpayer and the local board of assessors. The amount of taxes deferred shall not exceed the proportion of the total value of the property owned by the applicant and the total amount of taxes due (including interest charged at 8% annually) shall not exceed 50% of the owner’s share of the property. The state will place a lien on the property for the amount of the tax deferred plus interest which must be paid in full upon the transfer or sale of the property, or the death of the owner, unless a surviving spouse enters into a similar tax deferral agreement. Applications must be filed each fiscal year by 1 April or three months after the actual tax bills are mailed, whichever is later.

How is Benefit Disbursed


Eligible Property Type


Characteristics of Eligible Property

Only residential property is eligible for this program.

Eligibility Criteria



Income Ceiling

Principal Residence

Surviving Spouse

Description of Eligibility Criteria

This benefit is available to persons: (a) aged 65 or older; (b) who have lived in the state for at least 10 years and owned or occupied property for at least 5 years, or are surviving spouses that have inherited such real property and occupied it for at least 5 years; and (c) have gross receipts of less than $20,000, whether filing jointly or individually (these limits may be increased by local option)

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

Local government covers all of its tax loss

Description of State Funding for Tax Loss

State statutes do not provide for state funding for local tax loss.

Record ID



The property may not be sold or transferred unless the taxes have been paid with interest. When the property owner dies, legal heirs have first priority to said property provided that they pay in full all back taxes and interest. If the heir is a surviving spouse, the spouse may enter into a tax deferral and recovery agreement with the board of assessors. At the time of the owner's death or the sale or transfer of the property, the interest rate on the balance of taxes due increases to 16%.


Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 59, § 5-41A (in effect for 2017)
Massachusetts Division of Local Services Taxpayers Guide to Local Property Tax Deferrals for Seniors [ Accessed 01/24/2018] View Archived Source

Massachusetts Department of Revenue Informational Guideline Release 06-201 for Senior Property Tax Deferrals [ Accessed 01/24/2018] View Archived Source

Massachusetts Department of Revenue State Tax Form 97: Seniors 65 and Older Application for Property Tax Deferral [ Accessed 1/24/18] View Archived Source

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