Eligibility for Senior Tax Deferral

Clause 41A

Property Tax Deferral

The applicant must be 65 years of age by July 1st of the tax year.

The applicant must have owned and occupied the property as a domicile for at least 5 consecutive years and must have had a domicile or legal home in Massachusetts for 10 consecutive years.

The applicant and joint owners and mortgagees file an application (State Tax Form 97) and if eligible, in the first year they must enter into a deferral and recovery agreement (State Tax Form 97-1). This notarized agreement is signed by the property owner and the Board of Assessors and is recorded as a lien upon the property at the Registry of Deeds. The filing fees and 2% interest per annum is part of the total amount to be recovered.

Effective for FY2024 (applications are due April 1, 2024): Gross receipts-Income from all sources for 2022 earnings must not exceed $64,000.00. Assessors may not waive the filing deadline, nor act on a late-filed application. UPDATE: The Massachusetts Legislature approved an Act on March 11, 2024 which is now effective, authorizing the Town of Hamilton to amend the income threshold for Senior Real Property Deferments based upon a vote by the Select board.

Gross receipts means income from all sources and is broader than taxable income for federal or state income tax purposes. It includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, public and private pensions, social security, alimony, child support, lottery winnings, interest and dividend income, capital gains, life insurance proceeds, net income from business or rental property after deduction of related business expenses and losses, public assistance, disability payments, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation, regular cash or financial contributions or gifts from family or other persons outside the household, and any other income.

Assessors may grant a Clause 41A deferral of all or part of the tax in any year with the following limitations:
1. The annual deferral of an applicant who owns the property jointly with someone other than a spouse is limited to the same percentage of the tax as the applicant’s ownership interest.
2. The total deferral account, including interest, is limited to 50 percent of the applicant’s proportionate share of the full and fair cash value of the property.

The applicant may receive a personal exemption and defer all or a portion of the balance of the tax to the extent of these limitations.

State Tax Form 97 Deferrals application

State Tax Form 97-1

Deferral taxpayer’s guide