Senator Lewis at the Malden Senior Center for an Ice Cream Social, July 2023

Senator Lewis Promotes Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit Before Tax Day

BOSTON—State Senator Jason Lewis is encouraging Massachusetts residents who are 65 or older to explore whether they qualify for the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit when filing their 2023 state tax returns. 

Created by the state legislature in 1999, the Circuit Breaker offers financial relief to eligible seniors by providing a refundable tax credit to help offset property taxes or rent paid on a principal residence in Massachusetts. Although the tax credit was previously capped at $1,200 for 2022 tax filing purposes, recent changes approved by the House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Healey last year have doubled the maximum tax credit to $2,590 for the 2023 tax year. 

“I strongly encourage all residents who are 65 or older to find out if they are eligible for the Senior Circuit Breaker,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “This program has brought relief to many seniors struggling with high housing costs and is one of many important tools being used by the state to make housing more affordable.”

The tax credit is available to Massachusetts residents who are 65 or older by December 31, 2023, and who own or rent residential property in Massachusetts which they occupy as their primary residence. For married couples filing jointly, only one person needs to be 65 or older by December 31, 2023, to qualify. The tax credit applies to residential properties with an assessed valuation (before residential exemptions but after abatements) of $1,025,000 or less as of January 1, 2023.  

Applicants must also meet certain income eligibility requirements to qualify for the tax credit. Total annual income is currently capped at $69,000 for single individuals who are not the head of a household, $86,000 for heads of households, and $103,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly. 

For homeowners to qualify, their Massachusetts property tax payments, together with half of their water and sewer expenses, must exceed 10% of their total Massachusetts income for the tax year. For renters, 25% of their annual Massachusetts rent must exceed 10% of their total Massachusetts income for the tax year. Seniors living in public or subsidized housing are not eligible for the Circuit Breaker. 

To claim the tax credit, applicants must complete a Schedule CB (Circuit Breaker Credit) tax form and file it along with the standard Massachusetts Form 1 or Form 1-NR/PY income tax form. Applicants must file a Massachusetts state tax return to receive the tax credit, even if they do not owe taxes. 

For more details on the Senior Circuit Breaker or for copies of the required tax forms, go to www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-senior-circuit-breaker-tax-credit or contact the Department of Revenue’s Customer Service Bureau at 617-887-6367 (toll-free at 1-800-392-6089) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional help, please reach out to my office by emailing me at Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov or calling my office at 617-722-1206.