TAXPAYER INFORMATION ABOUT PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS
PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS. You may be eligible to reduce all or a portion of the taxes assessed on
your domicile if you meet the qualifications for one of the personal exemptions allowed under
Massachusetts law. Qualifications vary, but generally relate to age, ownership, residency, disability,
income or assets.
You may be eligible for an exemption if you fall into any of these categories:
Minor child of deceased parent
Veteran with a service-connected disability
Surviving spouse of servicemember,
national guard member or veteran who died
from active duty injury or illness
Senior citizen age 70 and older (65 and older
by local option)
More detailed information about the qualifications for each exemption may be obtained from your
board of assessors.
WHO MAY FILE AN APPLICATION. You may file an application if you meet all qualifications for a
personal exemption as of July 1. You may also apply if you are the personal representative of the
estate, or trustee under the will, of a person who qualified for a personal exemption on July 1.
WHEN AND WHERE APPLICATION MUST BE FILED. Your application must be filed with the
assessors on or before April 1, or 3 months after the actual bills were mailed for the fiscal year,
whichever is later. An application is filed when (1) received by the assessors on or before the filing
deadline, or (2) mailed by United States mail, first class postage prepaid, to the proper address of the
assessors, on or before the filing deadline, as shown by a postmark made by the United States Postal
Service. THIS DEADLINE CANNOT BE EXTENDED OR WAIVED BY THE ASSESSORS FOR ANY
REASON. IF YOUR APPLICATION IS NOT TIMELY FILED, YOU LOSE ALL RIGHTS TO AN
EXEMPTION AND THE ASSESSORS CANNOT BY LAW GRANT YOU ONE.
PAYMENT OF TAX. Filing an application does not stay the collection of your taxes. In some cases,
you must pay all preliminary and actual installments of the tax when due to appeal the assessors’
disposition of your application. Failure to pay the tax when due may also subject you to interest
charges and collection action. To avoid any loss of rights or additional charges, you should pay the
tax as assessed. If an exemption is granted and you have already paid the entire year’s tax as
exempted, you will receive a refund of any overpayment.
ASSESSORS DISPOSITION. Upon applying for an exemption, you may be required to provide the
assessors with further information and supporting documentation to establish your eligibility. The
assessors have 3 months from the date your application is filed to act on it unless you agree in writing
before that period expires to extend it for a specific time. If the assessors do not act on your
application within the original or extended period, it is deemed denied. You will be notified in
writing whether an exemption has been granted or denied.
APPEAL. You may appeal the disposition of your application to the Appellate Tax Board, or if
applicable, the County Commissioners. The appeal must be filed within 3 months of the date the
assessors acted on your application, or the date your application was deemed denied, whichever is
applicable. The disposition notice will provide you with further information about the appeal
procedure and deadline.