As a senior citizen, you may be eligible to claim a refundable credit on your personal state income tax return. The Circuit Breaker tax credit is based on the actual real estate taxes paid on the Massachusetts residential property you own or rent and occupy as your principal residence.

The maximum credit amount for tax year 2018 is $1,100. If the credit you’re owed exceeds the amount of the total tax payable for the year, you’ll be refunded the additional amount of the credit without interest.

Who is eligible

  • You must be a Massachusetts resident or part-year resident.
  • You must be 65 or older by December 31.
  • You must file a Massachusetts personal income tax return.
  • You must own or rent residential property in Massachusetts and occupy it as your primary residence.
  • For tax year 2018, your total Massachusetts income doesn’t exceed:
    • $58,000 for a single individual who is not the head of a household.
    • $73,000 for a head of household.
    • $88,000 for married couples filing a joint return.
  • If you are a homeowner, your Massachusetts property tax payments, together with half of your water and sewer expense, must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.
  • If you are a renter, 25% of your annual Massachusetts rent must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.