Massachusetts Property Tax

 

Editor’s Note: For purposes of this article, we will discuss taxes on real property in Massachusetts.

state property taxesWhile federal tax rates are consistent rates no matter the state you live in, real property taxes are another situation. Property tax includes tax on real property, or land and buildings, and is based on the value of their land and buildings.

Who Owes Massachusetts Property Tax?

If you own real property in Massachusetts you will be required to pay taxes on it. Even if the property was gifted to you or if you own a rental property, you must pay real property taxes.

There is no minimum or maximum amount to pay on your property in Massachusetts to pay property taxes. Whether you have a $50,000 or $5,000,000 house, you will owe property taxes in Massachusetts.

What is the Massachusetts Property Tax Rate?

Prior to 1978, Massachusetts residents paid the same real property tax rate throughout the state. Today, the Massachusetts real property tax rate depends on the city or town, as well as classification. But, the total tax levy for the city or town remains the same.

The Massachusetts real property tax rates vary from county to county, while the median tax payment is 1.22%, or $4,309, according to SmartAsset.com.

How is the Rate Calculated?

Here is further information from Mass.gov on how real property tax rates in Massachusetts are calculated:

An owner’s property tax is based on the assessment, which is the full and fair cash value of the property.

Each year, local assessors in every city and town in Massachusetts have a constitutional and statutory duty to assess all property at its full and fair cash value under Massachusetts General Law. As of each January 1st, local assessors must classify all real property according to use into one of four classes:

  • Residential
  • Open space
  • Commercial
  • Industrial

What Are Massachusetts Property Taxes Used For?

The money collected by Massachusetts is used for multiple public services throughout the state. It could be used for:

  • First responders and other law enforcement
  • General government services
  • Local levies
  • Municipal infrastructure and land construction or improvements
  • Municipal employees’ pay
  • Resident services like garbage pickup
  • Recreational services
  • Protective services

How Do You Pay Property Tax in Massachusetts?

After you purchase property, you can set up your real property taxes to be paid in escrow.

If you already own a property, and are not sure if you are paying them or not, view your mortgage statement, and make sure it includes:

  • Principal
  • Interest
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Property taxes

Consult your local municipality to pay your property taxes.

When Do You Have to Pay Massachusetts Property Taxes?

Massachusetts cities and towns administer and collect real property taxes. Tax bills are mailed four times annually (January, April, July and October), and they are due within 30 days of being sent.

Where To Go For More Property Tax Help

Gauging your property tax amount is important, as you can take a deduction on your federal income tax return for real estate taxes you paid if you itemize. To determine if you should itemize your deductions on your federal return, add up your calendar-year deductible expenses reported on the federal Schedule A, including your property tax expense, and determine if they are greater than the standard deduction amount for your filing status. Single filers can claim a standard deduction of $12,400 on their federal tax return. So, if you pay more than that with property income tax and other itemized deductions, then consider itemizing your taxes.

If you’re looking for additional support, look no further than Tax Pro Go. With this virtual tax service, we’ll match you with someone with Massachusetts-specific state expertise, so you can maximize your tax deductions and get the refund you deserve. Tax Pro Go allows you to have your taxes done by a real tax pro without visiting an office.

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