The Legal Checkup Blog

Take Advantage of the Circuit Breaker Real Estate Tax Credit

Posted by Judith Flynn on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 @ 23:12 PM

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) allows a refundable tax credit for qualifying home owners and non-subsidized renters aged 65 and over, called the "Circuit Breaker."  This tax credit can be significant and is available to seniors (65+) whose property taxes (or 25% of rent) exceed 10% of their annual income and who meet other criteria for the program.


Seniors do not need to owe income taxes in order to file for this credit, but they must file the required state tax form and Schedule CB to calculate the credit.  Call the Massachusetts DOR at 617-887-6367 for more information, or go to to download the necessary forms.  Your accountant should also be able to assist you (or, dare I say, you might consider getting a new accountant)!


BEWARE:  Residents of public housing are not eligible for this tax credit.  If you reside in public housing, the DOR warns you not to fall victim to the scam of unscrupulous tax preparers who want to charge you a fee for their assistance in applying for the credit.

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Tags: asset protection, elder law, Legal Check Up, Elder Financial Abuse, rights, fraud