Surviving Spouse and Minor Child (Clause 17D)

You may be eligible to reduce all or a portion of the taxes assessed on your domicile if you meet the qualifications for one of the personal exemptions allowed under Massachusetts law. Qualifications vary, but generally relate to age, ownership, residency, disability, income or assets.

You may be eligible for an exemption if you fall into any of these categories:

  • Legally blind person
  • Veteran with a service-connected disability
  • Surviving spouse of a servicemember, National Guard member or veteran who died from active duty injury or illness
  • Surviving spouse
  • Minor child of a deceased parent
  • Senior citizen age 70 and older (65 and older by local option)
  • Must have owned and occupied the property for the past five consecutive years
  • Must file annually
  • Must meet asset requirements
  • Must submit required  documentation

Whole Estate/Assets Cannot Exceed

  • If Single or Married: $40,000
  • Assets include: Unused balance of equity loans, savings accounts, checking accounts, CD's, IRA's, 401K's, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, motor vehicles, second homes, et cetera.

Required Documents

  • Birth Certificate (first time filing only)
  • Income Tax Return(s) or documentation of assets
  • If applicable, copy of Trust. If domicile is held in a trust, applicant must satisfy ownership requirement if he/she is a trustee or co-owner of the trust and possess a sufficient beneficial interest in the domicile through the trust.
  • Bank Statements or Bank Form
  • Completed Application

Seniors, Surviving Spouses, and Minor Children (of Deceased Parent) Information

The Department of Revenue (DOR) has created a fact sheet to provide general information about local property tax exemptions for seniors, surviving spouses, and minor children of a deceased parent. It is not designed to address all questions or issues and does not change any provision of the Massachusetts General Laws. To find out about the specific eligibility and application requirements in your city or town, you must contact the board of assessors. The DOR cannot determine your eligibility or give you legal advice. Property taxes are assessed and collected by cities and towns, not by the DOR. Under state law, only your board of assessors, as the local tax administrator, can decide whether you qualify for an exemption. If you disagree with its decision, you may appeal to the state Appellate Tax Board.


You may file an application if you meet all qualifications for a personal exemption as of July 1. You may also apply if you are the personal representative of the estate, or trustee under the will, of a person who qualified for a personal exemption on July 1.