APPLICATIONS FOR AUTHORITY TO ABATE
LOCAL TAXES AND CHARGES
For general guidance on the standards and policies governing applications for authority to abate local taxes and charges under G.L. c. 58, §8, refer to Informational Guideline Release (IGR) 92-206 . The following procedures also apply to applications submitted on or after March 1, 2006.
All applications for abatement authority are to be mailed or faxed directly to the Bureau of Municipal Finance Law.
Bureau of Municipal Finance Law
Division of Local Services
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 9569
Boston MA 02114-9569
FAX: ( 617-626-2330 or 617-660-0245 )
Applications must be submitted and signed by the officer/majority of the board assessing the tax or charge, or a board or person designated by that officer or board to submit them. For example, assessors must submit applications seeking authority to abate property taxes. Applications for authority to abate a betterment, special assessment or user charge would be submitted by the board or officer that imposed the assessment or charge, but may be submitted by the assessors if requested by that board or officer.
The officer/board submitting the application must fully support an abatement in the particular case. Abatement authority under G.L. c. 58, §8 is extraordinary relief, not an alternative taxpayer remedy, and should not be sought unless the request complies with the standards for relief explained in IGR 92-206.
FORMAT & CONTENT
Applications must include, at a minimum, the following:
- A cover letter explaining the reason abatement authority is being requested and why the officer/board believes it is warranted.
- Schedule 58.8 containing the information required by Section VI of IGR 92-206 regarding the (1) taxpayer, (2) property, (3) assessed valuations, (4) assessed taxes or charges, (5) outstanding taxes or charges, interest and costs, and (6) requested abatement authority. All amounts should be stated as of the application date.
- The specific mitigating facts or extraordinary circumstances that explain the taxpayer's failure to use the statutory abatement procedure and support the requested relief. The explanation should be specific, not a general conclusion. It should also include any prior abatement or exemption history regarding the taxpayer and property that is relevant to the request.
- Any supporting documentation.
The Bureau will notify the assessors or other applicant if additional information is needed to process a particular application. As a general rule, the information must be submitted within 30 days. If not, the application will be denied, but it may be resubmitted at a later date if all requested information is provided.
Notices of action on applications will be made by e-mail. If approved, the assessors or other applicant, the collector, and if the property is in tax title, the treasurer will receive the e-mail notice. Unless other e-mail addresses are supplied in the application, we will use the e-mail addresses in the DLS Local Officials' Directory, which is updated by city and town clerks. To ensure all notices are received, assessors, other officials who submit applications, collectors and treasurers must keep their municipal clerk informed of any changes in their e-mail addresses.