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Tax deferrals for long-term homeowners

Are you a long-term homeowner who is 55 or older and your real estate tax bill increased by 10% or more over your prior year real estate tax bill? You may be eligible to defer your taxes to help you stay in your home.

Last updated:
Step
1

Before you get started in person

For Fiscal Year 2021, you have until April 1, 2021, to file a long-term homeowner tax deferral application. You need to meet all of these requirements to join the program:

  • you need to have reached 55 as of July 1 of the fiscal year
  • you need to have a current real estate tax liability, as reduced by abatements and exemptions, if any, that has increased by 10% or more over the prior year real estate tax liability, as reduced by abatements and exemptions, if any
  • you need to have owned and lived in your home for at least 10 consecutive years as of July 1 of the fiscal year
  • you need to have lived in Massachusetts for the preceding 10 years
  • your gross income can’t be more than $58,000 (qualifying income limit is subject to change each year), and
  • you need to enter into a deferral and recovery agreement with the City.

Please note: your deferred taxes gain interest at a rate of four percent.

Step
2

Go to Boston City Hall

Complete a long-term homeowner tax deferral application at the Assessing Department:

Assessing Department, Room 301
1 City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Step
1

Before you get started by mail

For Fiscal Year 2021, you have until April 1, 2021, to file a long-term homeowner tax deferral application. You need to meet all of these requirements to join the program:

  • you need to have reached 55 as of July 1 of the fiscal year
  • you need to have a current real estate tax liability, as reduced by abatements and exemptions, if any, that has increased by 10% or more over the prior year real estate tax liability, as reduced by abatements and exemptions, if any
  • you need to have owned and lived in your home for at least 10 consecutive years as of July 1 of the fiscal year
  • you need to have lived in Massachusetts for the preceding 10 years
  • your gross income can’t be more than $58,000 (qualifying income limit is subject to change each year), and
  • you need to enter into a deferral and recovery agreement with the City.

Please note: your deferred taxes gain interest at a rate of four percent.

Step
2

Call us at Boston City Hall

Please contact the Taxpayer Referral and Assistance Center at 617-635-4287. We will send you a long-term homeowner tax deferral application.

Step
3

Mail us your application

Complete the long-term homeowner tax deferral application and mail it to us at City Hall:

Assessing Department, Room 301
1 City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Need to Know:

You can defer all or part of your property taxes every year as long as:

  • you continue to meet the qualification criteria, and
  • your total amount of deferred taxes plus interest isn't more than half of your ownership share of the property. This is based on your property's assessed value.

The taxes need to be paid when the property is sold, transferred, or when the property owner dies.

If you are enrolled in the tax deferral program, you can still get personal exemptions. Learn more about personal exemptions.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Call the Taxpayer and Referral Assistance Center at 617-635-4287.

Contact:
Assessing
1 City Hall Square
Room 301
Boston, MA 02201-2011

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