Senior and Veteran Tax Work-Off Program

APPLY ON-LINE HERE by September 30, 2019

The Senior Citizen Tax Work Off Program is open to senior citizens (65 years of age and older) or veterans who own property in and pay real estate taxes to the Town of Middleton. Participants will be expected to complete 112 hours of service in the program year, which runs from January 1 to September 30. A $1,428 property tax credit minus any required withholdings will be applied to the participant’s real estate tax bill in the following fiscal year, not current year’s property tax bill. Applications are available in August of each year and are due by September 30.

Participation is not guaranteed and will be based upon the town's policy.

Program Requirements

Participants MUST work the required 112* hours of service to receive the total tax credit. Hours worked may be shared with another household member if they have jointly been accepted into the program. The Town of Middleton, based on need, may place the participant in more than one job in order to fulfill the total hours.

*To receive the maximum $1,428 tax credit participants must work 112 hours. Working less than 112 hours results in a pro-rated tax credit based on the number of hours worked.

Eligibility Criteria
Seniors
Age: Applicants must be 65 years of age as of the annual eligibility date.

Veterans
Military Status: Applicants must be a veteran as defined by Massachusetts state law or the spouse of a veteran who is deceased or who has a service-related disability.

Ownership and Residency: Applicants must be a resident of the Town of Middleton and must own (as the assessed owner of record) and occupy (as their domicile) the property for which abatement is sought. If the property for which abatement is sought is owned by a trust, the applicant must have legal title, i.e., be one of the trustees. Applicants who are a holder of a valid life estate will meet ownership requirements. Applicants may qualify for and receive any or all of the following that affect their property tax bill; participation in Senior Work-off Program, a Tax Deferral, and a Statutory Exemption. Co-owners of a property may both participate in the program, but the total abatement may not exceed the maximum amount of a possible abatement per property available through this program for the year.

Compensation
• $12.75 per hour (based on Massachusetts minimum wage) tax abatement
• Participants will receive abatement for up to 112* hours of service. Any hours worked beyond the 112 hours cannot be accumulated for the Tax Work Off Program.
• Maximum amount of abatement is $1,428 per household per fiscal year.
• Money earned through the Tax Work Off Program is reportable income for federal taxes only. Participants will receive a W-2 form for the amount of money earned through the program.

Taxpayer must:
• Be 65 years of age or older or a veteran as of January 1, 2020.
• Own and occupy the property as principal residence.
• Be current with property tax payments.
• Possess and identify employable skills.
• Complete the application and additional requirements.
• Complete a CORI check and/or provide references if required by the work site
• Be interviewed for job placement by the department head supervising the work.

Job Placement for a Tax Credit Position
• An internal committee of Town Administrator designees will chose participants on the basis of skills, availability, and physical ability, as necessary.
• First-time applicants will have priority consideration each year. Prior participants in the program who are trained in or familiar with specific tasks may be given subsequent priority.
• Previous participants must re-apply for each program year.
• All applicants are required to abide by all Town of Middleton policies.
• Applicants will be interviewed by the department supervisor of the position for which they have been placed. Participants must work on site.
• There will be a two week probationary period to assess the appropriateness of the placement.
• Program participants may not work for relatives who are Town employees.
• Participants must not be Town of Middleton employees unless exempted by the Town Administrator.
• Individuals previously chosen for the program may make re-application in subsequent years. No applicant is guaranteed a position. First-time applicants will have priority consideration each year. Prior participants in the program who are trained in or familiar with specific tasks may be given subsequent priority.
• Time sheets will be filled out by the department supervisor each day that is worked. Quarterly accounting of time worked will be submitted to the program director. Once verified, the program director will submit to the Assessor for the abatement based on the number of hours worked.

Additional Information
• All seniors and veterans taking part in this program will be considered temporary employees of the Town of Middleton.
• Prior to starting work for the program, persons must fill out the necessary papers relating to employment with the Town.
• All applicable federal taxes will be withheld from income earned. In addition, the state mandated pension deduction O.B.R.A. will be deducted from earnings (participants may apply for a refund when job is completed).
• The IRS will treat all money earned through this program as taxable income.
• Participants should be sure that the income from this employment will not jeopardize any benefit program they are currently participating in (i.e. SSI, Medicaid, Fuel Assistance, etc.).
• The amount of property tax reduction earned by the taxpayer under this program is not considered income or wages for the purposes of state income tax withholding, unemployment compensation or workmen’s compensation.

Deadline Dates:
  • Application available: August 1
  • Application due: September 30
  • Applicants are notified if they have been provisionally accepted: October 31
Non-School Workers
  • Dept. Head Interviews: November
  • Applicants are informed if they have been officially selected: December 1
  • Participant employment paperwork is due: December 31
  • Participant work begins: January 1 (work may start on subsequent dates based on departmental needs)
  • Participant work ends: September 30
School Workers ONLY
  • Dept. Head Interviews: Nov. 1-11
  • Applicants are informed if they have been officially selected: Nov. 11
  • Participant employment paperwork is due: Nov. 20
  • Participant work begins: Nov. 21 (work may start on subsequent dates based on departmental needs)
  • Participant work ends: September 30

TO APPLY


OR

Fill out the application form and mail to Tanya Stepasiuk, 48 S. Main St., Middleton, MA 01949 or email to hr@middletonma.gov by September 30. Any applications received after this date may not be considered.

Questions? Contact Tanya Stepasiuk at 978-777-3617 or tanya.stepasiuk@middletonma.gov.