Variations in Receipt of Benefit
Benefit Varies with Income
Benefit Varies with Taxes Due
Minimum Tax Amount Must be Paid
The benefit is a refundable credit to the income tax bill equal to the amount by which real estate tax payments (or rent constituting tax) exceeds 10% of income. Rent constituting real estate tax for renters is 25% of rent paid. The maximum credit paid based on tax year 2020 income and paid in 2021 is $1,150.
How is Benefit Disbursed
Credit to the income tax bill
Eligible Property Type
Characteristics of Eligible Property
Only residential property is eligible for this program.
Property Value Limit
Description of Eligibility Criteria
The applicant must be 65 years old by 31 December of the tax year, and must be a full or part-year resident of the state. The applicant must occupy property in Massachusetts as their primary residence. Applicants may not be dependents of other taxpayers. For homeowners, Massachusetts property tax payments together with half of the applicant's water and sewer expenses must exceed 10% of total income for the tax year. If the applicant is a renter, 25% of the applicant's rent must exceed 10% of their income. For tax year 2020 with benefit paid in 2021, the taxpayer's "total income" cannot exceed $61,000 for a single individual who is not the head of a household, $76,000 for a head of household, and $92,000 for married couples filing a joint return. The assessed value of the residence, before exemptions but after abatements, cannot exceed $848,000. No credit may be provided to individuals if the state or federal government is subsidizing the claimant’s rent through a rental assistance program. Applications for the Circuit Breaker Credit must be filed annually after filing a Massachusetts State Income Tax Return. The form (Schedule CB) must be completed within 3 years from the last day for filing the return.
Local Option in Adoption of Program
Local government is unable to exercise an option
Local Option Regarding Program Features
No local option regarding program features
State Funding for Local Tax Loss
State reimburses all of the local government tax loss
Description of State Funding for Tax Loss
The state directly disburses benefits through a state refundable income tax credit.
[https://www.mass.gov/doc/2020-schedule-cb-circuit-breaker-credit/download?_ga=2.50201126.1888149588.1663074711-1838975645.1663074711 Accessed 09/13/2022]
View Archived Source
[https://westfordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9933/DOR-Circuit-Breaker?bidId=#:~:text=The%20maximum%20credit%20allowed%20is,to%20the%20taxpayer%20without%20interest Accessed 09/13/2022]
View Archived Source