Property taxes are filed and collected through the town or city where your property is located, not through the state government. The Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Massachusetts Court System provide information on who’s required to pay property taxes and where to file them.
Do I Need to Pay Property Taxes?
If you own real estate in Massachusetts, which includes land and buildings used for personal or business purposes, that property is taxable under Massachusetts property tax laws. Generally, you’ll pay property taxes quarterly or twice a year depending on where you own property unless certain circumstances apply to you.
- Homeowners with a Mortgage — According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), if you have a mortgage on your home, your property taxes may be taken directly from an escrow account. These accounts are set up by your mortgage lender and allow you to pay your property taxes along with your mortgage payment. Check to see if your loan includes an escrow account to find out if this applies to you. If your loan doesn’t include an escrow account, you may be able to request one.
- Residents Who Qualify for Exemptions — Some real estate tax exemptions or property tax deferrals are available for seniors, veterans, and people who are blind. In most cases, you need to apply for exemptions by April 1 each year.
Where Can I Find Out How to File Property Taxes?
Property tax forms, policies, and rates vary depending on the municipality. To help you find out how to file property taxes for your city or town, the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) provides a list of official city and town websites. In addition, the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has telephone listings for city and town halls throughout the Bay State.
Massachusetts Real Estate Tax Credit for Seniors
In addition to possible exemptions from cities and towns, seniors in Massachusetts may be eligible for a tax credit from the state. The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit allows some individuals who are 65 or older to claim a refund of up to $1,070 for rent or property taxes paid on their primary residence. To find out if you’re eligible, read the 2016 update to the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit.
Contact your city or town for more information on property taxes in Massachusetts.
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