Residential Exemption Information

Residential Tax Exemption

What is it?  

The residential exemption is a fixed value reduction off the assessment for qualified taxpayers, meaning all qualified taxpayers receive the same amount subtracted from their assessed value.  The assessment amount is a percentage of the average residential value of the community.   

Who qualifies?

To qualify for the exemption a taxpayer must own and occupy the property as your domicile, meaning the property must be where you maintain a permanent home, intend to return, file your taxes, register to vote, register your cars, and complete census information.

You must have owned and occupied your dwelling as of January 1st of the year.  If you just purchased a dwelling, you will be eligible the first fiscal year following the January 1st ownership and occupancy date.  For example, to qualify for the Fiscal Year 2025 (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025) Residential Exemption one must own and occupy the property on/before January 1, 2024. 

How do I apply?

Residential Exemption applications are mailed every July to everyone who purchased a home in the preceding calendar year.  If you bought your house in 2023, applications are available July of 2024, which begins the first fiscal year you would qualify. 

Do I need to apply every year?

The Residential Exemption does not require an annual application provided ownership and occupancy have not changed. Granted exemptions will carry over to the following fiscal years, however the exemption will be removed if qualifications are no longer met. If your exemption has been removed or you are concerned that it may be please contact the Assessors’ Office for clarification.

I’ve placed my house in a Trust, do I still qualify?  

A property held in a trust may qualify for the exemption if the owner is listed as a Trustee and maintains a beneficial interest in the property, most commonly as a beneficiary to the trust. However, properties owned by an LLC or other business entity are not qualified ownership types for the exemption.

What is the deadline for applying?

Ninety days after the 3rd quarter tax bill is issued, usually falling on April 1st of the current fiscal year is the deadline for submission.  After April 1st, the Board of Assessors lose jurisdiction on applications, and nothing can be granted for the current fiscal year. 

Before you apply, ask yourself:

  • Did I own and occupy this dwelling as my domicile on January 1st of this year? 
  • If ownership is held in a Trust, am I both a trustee and beneficiary?
  • Did I use this address to file my MA state income taxes, and can I provide evidence?
  • Have I updated my MA state issued ID/license, car registration, voter registration to show this address, and can I provide evidence?
  • Do I currently have the Residential Exemption on any other property or in any other community?

If your answer is NO to any of the questions above, you may not qualify and should reach out for more information.

To receive an application for the Residential Exemption or if you have any questions, please reach out to the Assessors’ Office at 617-972-6410.