Real Estate FAQs


What are the due dates for Real Estate Taxes?

Tax bills are due four times a year. The quarterly tax payments are due on the following dates:

August 1st; November 1st; February 1st; May 1st.

Real Estate tax bills are now mailed each quarter.

What if I don't receive a Real Estate Tax Bill?

You can obtain a statement by calling the Town Collector's Office at (781) 942-9023. Under state law, Chapter 60, Section 3, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax or any interest or fines incurred due to late payment(s). It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to secure his/her tax bill when one is not received.

How will the payments be calculated?

The first two preliminary bills will be 25% of the amount billed in the previous year including any liens, less any exemptions, deferrals, or abatements. The third and fourth actual bills will reflect changes in valuation and annual tax increases including any overrides or debt exclusions.  

New Owner?

If you are a new property owner and have not received your tax bill from the previous owner, you can request a statement as described above.

What happens if I pay my Real Estate Tax late?

Interest of 14% per annum will start accruing at the close of business on the due date.

Where do I mail my Real Estate Tax payment?

Please mail payments to:

Tax Collector
Town Of Reading
P.O. Box 1006
Reading, MA 01867

Please make checks payable to: Town of Reading.

For proper credit, write the bill number on the check and enclose your Real Estate Tax bill. To obtain a receipt, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope and the bill with your payment. One will be stamped paid and returned.

How do I change the old owners name that appears on the Tax Bill, after purchasing the property?

The permanent change will take place when the Assessors Office receives the deed from the Registry of Deeds.

How do I change the mailing address on my Real Estate Bill?

Either by coming into the Assessor's Office or calling the office at (781) 942-9027

What happens if there is an overpayment on my Real Estate Tax?

Overpayments will be applied to the next quarter unless it is the last quarter of the Fiscal Year. If an overpayment is made on the last quarter it will be refunded to the person or mortgage company that caused the credit balance.

What happens if I don't pay my Real Estate Tax?

Tax payments must be received on or before the due date to avoid interest and demand charges. If payment is not made on or before the due date the account will begin to accrue interest at the rate of 14% per annum, computed from the date the bill was due.

On the 4th quarter bill a demand notice will be sent and a demand fee of $25.00 is charged against the account.

If the account remains delinquent the owner's Name, Address and the amount of outstanding taxes will be advertised in the Reading Chronicle and the advertising fee will be charged to the account.

If the account continues to remain delinquent, a tax lien (a legal claim placed on the property for debt) is placed on the property and is recorded with the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds. A tax lien is the first step in the foreclosure process. All taxes, costs and interest must be paid to prevent foreclosure. All costs incurred are charged to the account in the foreclosure.

What should I do if I recently sold my property, but I am still receiving a tax bill?

If you receive a bill, please forward it to the new owner immediately as it is his/her responsibility to make payment or call the Collector's Office at (781) 942-9023.

How do I get a Municipal Lien Certificate?

Please send a letter requesting a Municipal Lien Certificate to:

Collector's Office
Town of Reading
16 Lowell Street
Reading, MA 01867

You will need to supply the Property Address and name of the Current Owner.

A self-addressed, stamped envelope should be included with the request, if you wish the Municipal Lien Certificate to be mailed to you.

How much will it cost and how long does it take?

The cost for a Municipal Lien Certificate is as follows:

  • $50.00 - Single, 2 or 3 Family
  • $50.00 - All Open Land
  • $100.00 - 4 Family
  • $150.00 - Commercial Property

A Municipal Lien Certificate will be completed within 10 business days of the date your request was received.

How much did I pay in Real Estate Taxes last year?

You can obtain a statement by calling the Collector's Office at (781) 942-9023.

Have you received my Real Estate Tax payment from my bank?

You can obtain that information by calling the Collector Office at (781) 942-9023.

What if I am buying a condominium that is in the middle of a conversion?

Until the conversion is completed, the property is recognized as just one parcel. There is only one bill for all units and it is between you and all the other unit owners how the Real Estate bill is divided. You must also notify your mortgage company as to the amount of your portion of the Real Estate bill that should be paid.

Once the conversion is completed, there will be separate Real Estate bills for each unit in the next fiscal year.