Real Estate Tax Credit for Persons Age 65 and Older





Variations in Receipt of Benefit

Benefit Varies with Income

Benefit Varies with Taxes Due

Minimum Tax Amount Must be Paid

Benefit Type

Circuit Breaker


The benefit is a refundable credit to the income tax bill equal to the amount by which real estate tax payments (or rent constituting real estate tax payment for renters) exceeds 10% of income. The credit is capped at $870, adjusted annually.

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.

Eligibility Criteria



Income Ceiling

Principal Residence

Property Value Limit


Other Criteria

Description of Eligibility Criteria

This credit is available to owners or tenants of residential property located in the state who are age 65 or older and are not dependents of other taxpayers. Applicants must have incomes below $46,000 for individuals not heads of household, $58,000 for individuals who are heads of households, and $70,000 for married couples filing jointly (married couples must file jointly to be eligible), adjusted annually. The assessed value of the residence is not to exceed $684,000, adjusted annually. No credit may be provided to individuals if the state or federal government is subsidizing the claimant’s rent through a rental assistance program.

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 income tax credit.

Record ID



Maximum benefit and income levels are adjusted each year by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 1999. Wealth limits are adjusted annually by the percentage change in the average assessed value of homes in the state since 2004 Real estate taxes include taxes levied on the taxpayer’s residence including any water and sewer debt charges. In communities not assessing water and sewer charges, 50% of water and sewer charges paid by the taxpayer is added to the amount of real estate taxes paid. Rent constituting real estate tax payments is calculated as 25% of total rent paid.


Mass. Gen. Laws. ch 62, § 6(k) (in effect for 2007)

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