Post Content

While the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit may offer homeowners over the age of 65 a substantial tax credit on state income tax, those 60 and over may benefit from a different type of program designed to help lessen the burden of local property tax payments. The program is known as the Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Abatement Program.

The tax work-off abatement law allows a city or town to establish a program giving property owners 60 or older the opportunity to volunteer services to the city or town in exchange for a reduction in property tax of up to $1,000. (The law was recently amended to increase the maximum amount of the reduction from $750 to $1,000. A community may choose a lower amount, however.)

The city or town, not the state, administers the program, keeping track of hours worked and crediting for each hour worked an amount not to exceed the minimum wage, currently $8 per hour.

Regulations for the program vary from community to community. Income limits for eligibility may vary, for instance, and some communities may set a ceiling on the program that is less than the $1,000 maximum allowed under state law.

Participants may be asked to do anything from painting fire hydrants to answering phones to stacking books in the local library. In return, they receive a record of their work which is also sent to the local assessor in order to reduce the volunteer's property tax bill. The value of the work is not considered to be wages and therefore is not taxable.

To see if your community participates in the tax work-off program, contact your local council on aging, senior center, or assessor. Some communities report waiting lists, so don't delay in contacting local officials to see if the program is available in your community.

A recent news story presents the experience of one Western Massachusetts community that recently adopted this program.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Prep Early for Next Tax Season posted on May 20

Filing season is finally over and we know the last thing on your mind is next tax season. But did you know that if given more prep time, you could be saving yourself lots of stress and time? Start planning for next tax season now   …Continue Reading Prep Early for Next Tax Season

DOR’s Participation in the Family Court Workshops posted on Apr 22

Once a month, the Department of Revenue’s Child Support Enforcement (CSE) lawyers and staff volunteer to be a part of the Family Court Workshops for Mothers and Fathers at the Suffolk County Probate & Family Court in Boston. The workshops, a joint venture between community   …Continue Reading DOR’s Participation in the Family Court Workshops

DOR Ruling Favorable in First Circuit Judgment posted on Mar 17

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued judgments in the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) favor last month, finding that taxpayers in Bankruptcy proceedings cannot discharge late filed tax returns. The court consolidated two similar cases brought before them involving a total   …Continue Reading DOR Ruling Favorable in First Circuit Judgment