50% Rental Deduction
You may be entitled to a rental deduction equal to one-half (50%) of the rent you paid during 2019 (up to a maximum of $3,000 per return) for your principal residence in Massachusetts. Enter the total amount of qualified rent paid by you during 2019 in line 14a. Divide line 14a by 2 and enter the result, or $3,000 ($1,500 if married filing a separate return) — whichever is smaller — in line 14.
Note: This deduction amount does not apply to your U.S. tax return.
What Qualifies for the Rental Deduction?
The deduction must be for rent you paid to a landlord for the rental or lease of your principal residence in Massachusetts. If two or more persons jointly rent a unit, each occupant using it as his/ her principal residence is entitled to a deduction based on the amount of rent that each person paid. If the rent is paid by a third party (such as a parent) who maintains a principal residence elsewhere, no 50% rental deduction is allowed for either party. A principal residence does not include any residence for vacation, an apartment for a person on a temporary assignment or a student or faculty member who has a principal residence elsewhere. It also does not include any apartment or house in Massachusetts of a nonresident who has a residence in another state or country. Payment for occupying a hotel, motel or rooming house is not considered rent unless a rental agreement exists. Nor are payments by a tenant-stockholder of a cooperative housing corporation to the corporation and payments by an owner of a condominium unit to the condominium association considered rent. All separately stated charges such as utilities, furnishings or parking cannot be included in rent for purposes of this deduction. Also, rent does not include any advance payments (such as security deposit, last month’s rent, etc.) until actually applied as rent.