Tax Relief & Exemptions

The Circuit Breaker

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2001, certain taxpayers age 65 or older may be eligible to claim a refundable credit on their state income taxes for the real estate taxes paid during the tax year on the residential property they own or rent in Massachusetts that is used as their principal residence. If the credit due the taxpayer exceeds the amount of the total income tax payable for the year by the taxpayer, the excess amount of the credit will be refunded to the taxpayer without interest. For further information relative to the calculation and eligibility of the circuit breaker income tax credit, follow this link to the Department of Revenue website:

  • State Department of Revenue (DOR) Circuit Breaker Application


Overview on Exemptions

An exemption is a release or discharge from the obligation to pay all or a portion of a local property tax. Exemptions are established by the legislature for particular categories of property or persons and are generally found in General Laws Chapter 59 Section 5. The exemption is a privilege and any claimant must demonstrate that it clearly qualifies.

Exempt Persons

Persons who may qualify for exemptions include disabled veterans, blind persons, surviving spouses, and seniors.

Qualification Date

Exempt status is determined as of July 1st. Ownership, occupancy, use, age or any other eligibility criteria must be met as of that date.

Filing Date

Exemption applications must be filed with the assessors on or before December 15th or 3 months after actual (not preliminary) tax bills are mailed for the fiscal year if later.

Town of Reading Eligibility Requirements for Personal Real Estate Exemptions

Bold indicates a change from prior years.


Clause Basic Qualifications Maximum Income Maximum Assets
Other Than Domicile
Exemption Amount
17D Age 70 or older N/A $40,000 $175
41C Age 65 or older - Single $20,000 $40,000 $750
41C Age 65 or older - Married $30,000 $55,000 $750


Clause Basic Qualifications Maximum Income Maximum Assets
Other Than Domicile
Exemption Amount
22 10% Wartime Service Disability or Purple Heart N/A N/A $400
Loss of foot, hand, or eye
N/A N/A $750
22B Loss of two limbs or eyes N/A N/A $1,250
22C 100% disability with specially adapted housing N/A N/A $1,500
Surviving spouses of soldiers, sailors or guardsmen who died due to injury or disease 
from being in combat or missing and presumed dead to combat.
N/A N/A 100%
22E 100% Disability
10% Service
N/A N/A $1,000
22F Paraplegic due to war injury N/A N/A 100%


Clause Basic Qualifications Maximum Income Maximum Assets
Other Than Domicile
Exemption Amount
Legally Blind
N/A N/A $500
Surviving spouse or orphaned minor child
N/A $40,000 $175
42 - 43
Surviving spouse or orphaned minor of Police Officer or Fire Fighter killed in line of duty
N/A N/A 100%
18 An individual by reasons of age infirmity and poverty
can not fully contribute to their tax obligation as
deemed by the Assessors
N/A N/A Varies

Deferred Tax Payment

Clause Basic Qualifications Maximum Income Maximum Assets
other than domicile
Exemption Amount
41A Age 65 or older  $40,000 N/A Varies

Deferred taxes accumulate with simple interest at 8% as a lien on the property until it is sold or the owner(s) is deceased then the interest is 16%.