FYI: 2014 Boston Property Tax Exemptions

Tax Day may not be due for a few more weeks, but if you plan to take advantage of the residential tax exemption, you'll need to act sooner.

March 31st is the deadline for current owner occupants to file for a residential exemption.

If you bought a home in Boston in 2013 and you live in the property, don't forget to apply for a residential exemption by March 31, 2014. According to the city's Assessing Department, qualified homeowners can save over $1,750 on their 2014 taxes (which will be filed next year).

Here's where you can apply online: cityofboston.gov/assessing

The home address you list on your income tax return is the one for which you can file an exemption. There may be multiple exemptions that you qualify for--exemptions for veterans, the elderly, widows/widowers, etc.--but you can only choose ONE exemption.

The city of Boston produced a Property Tax Information sheet which explains further:

"The principal residence is the address from which you file your state income tax return. Your Social Security number will be required to verify your residency information with the state and will be kept strictly confidential.... Each exemption has eligibility requirements (e.g. age, income restrictions). You may not receive more than one personal exemption. If you qualify for two or more exemptions, you will receive the exemption that saves you the most money."

Regarding details on eligibility requirements, we recommend you consult your trusted tax advisor. (We're the South End specialists, not tax law specialists!)

First-time homeowner?

Below are a few of the FAQs provided by the Boston Assessing Department:

How do market conditions affect my assessment?

For Fiscal Year 2014, state law requires that all property be assessed at its full market value. Your assessment is based upon the sale of properties - on or before January 1, 2013 - which are comparable in location, style, age, and condition.

I'm a new owner, why doesn't my name appear on my tax bill?

For the current Fiscal Year 2014, state law requires the collector's office to send tax bills to the owner of record as of the January 1, 2013 assessment date. Ownership changes made after that date will be reflected on tax bills in Fiscal Year 2015. Upon request, the Assessing Department will mail tax bills in care of the new owner. You can obtain a copy of your tax bill by calling the Taxpayer Referral & Assistance Center at (617) 635-4287.

I purchased my property in calendar year 2013. When do I qualify for a residential exemption?

For Fiscal Year 2014, you must have owned and occupied the property on January 1, 2013 to qualify for the exemption. If you acquired the property after January 1, 2013, you may be eligible in Fiscal Year 2015.