Eastham Town SealAbatements can be filed if the owner believes the assessment is incorrect, or if the vehicle was sold during the year in which it is being taxed and the registration was properly cancelled, or if the owner moved, registered the vehicle in another state, and cancelled the registration in Massachusetts, or did not renew the registration in Massachusetts.

How to file for an abatement?

Applications for abatement must be received by the assessors within three years after the excise was due, or one year after the excise was paid, whichever is later.  

An application to abate excise tax does not halt the collection of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax and fines. Penalties and interest may accrue if the bill is not paid in full and on time.

Abatements only apply to the original amount of the bill, it will not reduce or refund any fines or penalties, unless the bill was issued in error.

No abatement can reduce a tax to less than $5, and no abatement of less than $5 will be granted.

Abatements will be granted on a monthly prorated basis.

If the application for abatement is denied at the local level or if a decision is not made within three months of filing, the denial can be appealed to the State Appellate Tax Board. Any abatement granted by the State Appellate Tax Board because of overpayment shall be refunded by the city or town treasurer accompanied by six % interest, calculated from the date of payment of the excise to the date the refund is paid. No interest is due the taxpayer if the abatement is granted by the Board of Assessors. 

  1. If you've moved
  2. Leased Car
  3. Sold Vehicle
  4. Traded Vehicle
  5. Stolen Vehicle
  6. repossessed vehicle

If a motor vehicle owner moves within Massachusetts and has not paid an excise tax for the current year, he/she should immediately notify the local assessor of his/her new address. The owner must pay the motor vehicle excise to the city or town in which he/she resided on January 1. If the owner moved before the first of the year, he/she must pay the tax to the new community to which the owner moved. If the owner did not notify the Registry, the local assessor, and the post office that he/she moved before the first of the year, it may be necessary to file for an abatement with the former city or town which had sent the excise bill. Most cities or towns will dismiss the bill and reroute it to the new community once the owner furnishes proof that he/she had moved before the first of the year.

If the owner of a vehicle moves out of Massachusetts and registers his/her vehicle in another state and cancels his/her Massachusetts registration or does not renew the Massachusetts registration, he/she can file an application for an abatement for that portion of the year after the month in which the motor vehicle was registered in the new state or in which the Massachusetts registration was cancelled, whichever is the later. Please note that it is necessary for a person who has moved out-of-state to cancel the registration in MA and obtain a plate return receipt in order to avoid problems with an excise tax abatement application or future registration in the new state, unless the new state as a general policy confiscates the plates from the old state (MA, i.e.). In such a case, the owner is still required to cancel the registration from MA, but no plate return receipt is required if proof of registration in the new state is presented.