Vehicle/Boat Excise Tax & Abatements


For what reasons may I get an abatement of a motor vehicle excise?
A taxpayer may file an abatement application and receive an abatement for any of the following reasons:
  • Sale of the vehicle and cancellation of the registration or the trade of the subject vehicle for another
  • Transfer of the registrant and the vehicle to another state with proof of registration in that state and cancellation of the Massachusetts registration
  • Overvaluation of the vehicle
  • Subsequent registration of the same vehicle in the same year by the same person (e.g., vehicle is later registered with a Vanity Plate)
  • Theft of the vehicle, if the local police authorities are notified within 48 hours of the discovery of the theft and the certificate of registration is surrendered not less than 30 days after the theft and the registrant has received a certificate of cancellation of registration signed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles or his authorized agent verifying that the subject vehicle was stolen

Timeline & Appeals

Applications for abatement must be filed with the local board of assessors within 3 years after the date the excise was due, or 1 year after the excise was paid, whichever is later. If the taxpayer's application for abatement is denied, there can be an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board (ATB).

See the Massachusetts Department of Revenue online resource for additional information.