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1.     Unclaimed Refund List

The DOR has millions of dollars in refunds that have been returned to the agency and are waiting to be claimed. See if your name is on the list at DOR's Unclaimed Refund List.

 2.     Veterans and Surviving Spouses Exemption

Qualified veterans and surviving spouses may be eligible for a property tax exemption up to the full tax bill from their local Board of Assessors. Check the Veterans Property Tax Brochure to see if you qualify.

 3.     Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit

Residents who are 65 and over before January 1, 2013 may be eligible to claim a refundable senior “Circuit Breaker” tax credit up to $1,000 against their personal income taxes for the rent or real estate taxes they paid on their principal residence. See Circuit Breaker Information for eligibility criteria. There are also provisions for claiming the credit for prior years.

 4.     Turnpike Fuel Excise Refund

Any motorist or commercial motor carrier who buys gasoline or special fuels in Massachusetts and travels on the MassPike can apply for a refund of the 21-cent a gallon excise tax. Now that gas prices are dropping, more commuters might benefit from this program. For details and forms go to Turnpike Refund Guide.

 5.     Credit for Taxes Paid to Rhode Island

Massachusetts residents working in Rhode Island can claim a credit against their Massachusetts personal income tax for mandatory payments to Rhode Island under that state’s Temporary Disability Insurance Act. See DOR Directive 12-1 for more information.

 6.     Rental Deduction

You may be entitled to a rental deduction equal to one half of the rent you paid during the calendar year up to $3,000 for your principal residence in MA. See the Rent Deduction  for details.

 7.     Commuter Deduction

Commuting costs such as tolls paid through an EZPass account or for weekly or monthly transit commuter passes for MBTA transit, bus commuter rail and commuter boat may be deductible. See the Commuter Deduction  for details.

 8.     Deduction for FICA and Government Retirement System Contributions

Contributions up to $2,000 paid to Social Security (FICA), Medicare, Railroad and U.S. or MA Retirement Systems may be claimed as a deduction on your state income tax return.  Government employees who are not covered by the Social Security system often forget to add the amount contributed to U.S. or MA Retirement Systems to their Medicare contributions in calculating this deduction.

 9.     Child and Dependent Care  Expenses

Massachusetts law allows taxpayers to exceed the federal limit on employment-related expenses for the care of a qualified child under the age of 13, a disabled dependent or a disabled spouse.

The maximum deduction is $4,800 for one qualifying individual and $9,600 for two or more.

10.  Earned Income Credit

Massachusetts taxpayers who qualify for and claim the federal earned income credit are allowed a state refundable credit equal to 15% of the federal amount.

 There are a number of other exemptions and credits Massachusetts taxpayers may be able to claim on their state tax return. Why not join 96% of Massachusetts taxpayers and file electronically?  Try DOR’s WebFile for Income.  It’s free and fool-proof. The software program won’t let you make a mistake like forgetting to sign your name or attach a schedule and you get your refund quicker than filing paper forms.  If you choose direct deposit, your refund will be even faster.   

 And after you file, you can download DOR’s Mobile App on your iPhone or Android smartphone to track your refund.

Written By:


Ann Dufresne is Communications Director at the Department of Revenue. She joined DOR in July 2012 after ten years in state goverment. She previously served as Communications Director for MassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicles and for Senate Presidents Therese Murray and Robert Travaglini.

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