If you are 65 years or older at the close of the taxable year and your principal residence is in Massachusetts, you may be eligible for the Senior Circuit Breaker, a refundable credit against personal income taxes. First, you have to meet income thresholds:
For single taxpayers you can’t make more than $55,000 in tax year 2013, $69,000 for a head of household and $82,000 for married couples.
Next, the assessed value of your home, before you take any residential exemptions but after any amount that’s abated may not exceed $700,000.
For homeowners, the credit is based on any property tax payments after an abatement or exemption that may exceed 10% of your total income. The maximum credit for tax year 2013 is $1,030, all fully refundable.
Seniors can also claim the credit if they rent a residence.
Taxpayers who are eligible for the Senior Circuit Breaker must file Schedule CB with the 2013 state tax return, even if they don’t pay any taxes or have a need to file a tax return.
In tax year 2011, the most complete year for statistics, more than 86 thousand Massachusetts seniors took advantage of the tax credit, receiving nearly $67 million dollars in credits. The average Senior Circuit Breaker Credit that went into their pocket was $774.