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Residential Exemption

If you own and live in your property as a primary residence, you may qualify for the residential exemption.

The residential exemption reduces your tax bill by excluding a portion of your residential property’s value from taxation. Last fiscal year, the residential exemption saved qualified Boston homeowners up to $3,305.20 on their tax bill.

We apply the exemption amount to your third-quarter tax bill that is issued in late December. If you didn’t get the credit on your bill and think you should have, you can apply for a residential exemption.

For Fiscal Year 2023, you have until April 3, 2023, to file an application.

How it Works

A recent home rule petition expanded Boston's residential exemption. Homeowners who obtain their homes before July 1 may now qualify for the current Fiscal Year. This means that, for Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023), homeowners who recorded a deed at the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds and occupy the property as their principal residence between January 1, and  June 30, 2022, may be eligible.

Keep in Mind
  • This expansion does not affect homeowners who owned and occupied their home on January 1, 2022. Those homeowners still qualify. 
  • You can only qualify for a residential exemption for one property.
  • If you file for an exemption, that does not mean you can postpone paying your taxes. 
  • You can apply for other exemptions along with the residential exemption, but the taxable value of your property can't be below 10 percent of the assessed value. There are exceptions for certain residents with physical ailments or financial hardships. 

Apply for a Residential Exemption

For Fiscal Year 2023, you have until April 3, 2023, to file an application for the current fiscal year.

To make sure you are eligible, you will need to give us your social security number. We only use the number to confirm your tax filing from your property’s address.

Please note: A Fiscal Year takes place from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. For example, Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) would be July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

Complete your application

Applications can be downloaded after we issue third-quarter tax bills in December. To download an application, search for and find your property using the Assessing Online tool, then click the "Details" link:

Assessing Online screenshot with the "details" link

If eligible, you will be given a link for a printable residential exemption application under the "Abatements/Exemptions" section. For more information on what's possible with Assessing Online, visit our explainer page.

You can also get an application by calling the Taxpayer Referral and Assistance Center at 617-635-4287. Applications can also be completed at City Hall. Remember to bring any additional documents you need for your exemption application.

Submit your application

Bring or mail your completed application and supporting documents to the Assessing Department at City Hall:

ASSESSING DEPARTMENT, ROOM 301
1 CITY HALL SQUARE
BOSTON, MA 02201

Exemption Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Last fiscal year, the residential exemption saved qualified Boston homeowners up to $3,305.20 on their tax bill.

The Taxpayer Referral and Assistance Center has three months from the date you filed your application to make a decision. Just because you file an application, that doesn’t mean you can postpone paying your taxes. You still need to pay your property taxes each quarter.

If your residential exemption application is approved, the Collector Treasurer will credit you later in the fiscal year.

If your residential application is denied, you can file an appeal with the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board within three months of the decision. The board is located at:

100 CAMBRIDGE STREET, 2ND FLOOR, SUITE 200
BOSTON, MA 02114
PHONE: 617-727-3100
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