By: State Rep. Francisco Paulino
The Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is an essential element of Massachusetts’ support for its senior residents, particularly in the communities of Lawrence and Methuen. As the State Representative for the 16th Essex District and a member of the Massachusetts House Revenue Committee, I am committed to ensuring that our seniors are well-informed about this beneficial tax credit.
Comprehensive Eligibility Criteria for the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit
1. Residency: Eligible individuals must be Massachusetts residents or part-year residents.
2. Age Requirement: You must be 65 years or older by December 31 of the tax year.
3. Tax Filing: Filing a Schedule CB with your Massachusetts personal income tax return is necessary.
4. Primary Residence: You must own or rent residential property in Massachusetts and occupy it as your primary residence.
5. Income Limits for 2023:
• $69,000 for a single individual who is not the head of a household.
• $86,000 for a head of household.
• $103,000 for married couples filing jointly.
6. Property Tax Requirement for Homeowners: Your Massachusetts property tax payments, along with half of your water and sewer expenses, must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.
7. Rent Requirement for Renters: For renters, 25% of your annual Massachusetts rent must exceed 10% of your total Massachusetts income for the tax year.
8. Property Valuation Cap: The assessed valuation of the homeowner’s residence as of January 1, 2023, before residential exemptions but after abatements, cannot exceed $1,025,000.
9. Filing Deadline for Schedule CB: The Schedule CB must be completed within three years from the last day for filing the return, without regard to any extensions for filing.
Enhancements and Legislative Efforts
In my role, I have actively advocated for and sponsored legislation that enhances the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit. These initiatives, particularly important for the residents of Lawrence and Methuen, have increased the maximum credit for the tax year 2023 to $2,590.
Importance of Awareness and Accessibility
Many seniors in Lawrence and Methuen may not be aware of their eligibility or how to navigate the application process. I am dedicated to organizing workshops and providing assistance to guide our seniors. It’s crucial that they understand the nuances of this tax credit and how it can benefit them, especially given the rising costs of living and property taxes.
The Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit exemplifies Massachusetts’ commitment to its senior citizens. This credit is a vital financial support for seniors, particularly in Lawrence and Methuen. As a State Representative, I am devoted to ensuring that our seniors are informed, empowered, and able to access this credit.
This commitment is not just about providing financial relief but also about upholding the dignity and quality of life of our seniors.◊