When preparing your individual income tax return for tax season, it’s imperative you know your status and the deadlines for tax filing. One way to meet your state tax deadline is to stay organized. Gathering the proper paperwork to help fill out the Massachusetts state tax forms will make everything go a lot easier.
Who Must File Massachusetts Income Taxes?
A full-year Massachusetts resident whose gross income is more than $8,000 must file a personal income tax return with the Department of Revenue (DOR). A full-year resident is an individual who has lived in Massachusetts for the entire year.
You are also considered a full-year resident if you maintain a home in Massachusetts (even if you don’t live there) and spend a total of more than 183 days of the tax year in Massachusetts.
Part-year residents with an annual income of $8,000 must file a Massachusetts state income tax return. You would be a part-time resident if you moved to Massachusetts during the tax year to become a resident. Likewise, an individual who moves out of Massachusetts during the tax year is also a resident.
A Massachusetts nonresident with an MA-sourced gross income of more than $8,000 or the prorated exemption, whichever is less, must file a Massachusetts personal income tax return.
You don't have to file if your income is less than $8,000 unless you claim refundable credits.
What Are the Forms to Use?
Depending on your residency status, there are different personal income tax return forms that you’ll need to be aware of. For instance, a full-year resident uses Form 1. Part-year residents and nonresidents must use Form 1-NR/P.Y.
What Is the Tax Rate in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts has a flat income tax rate. The rate is five percent of gross income over $8,000. This includes salaries, wages, tips commissions, etc. It also includes unearned income such as interest, capital gains and dividends. Some capital gains are taxed at 12 percent.
What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?
Massachusetts personal income tax is due by April 15 following the end of every tax year. If April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, it is due the next business day. Due to holidays, it will be due April 19, 2022.
As long as you have paid 80 percent of the taxes due, most taxpayers automatically receive a six-month extension on filing a tax return. Once you have an extension, you can file anytime within six months of the original due date.
Any taxpayer affected by a presidentially declared disaster in the U.S. will receive an automatic extension. This extension applies to filing a return and making a tax payment.
What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?
If there is a failure to file a tax return by the due date, it results in a one percent per month (or a fraction) of the unpaid tax being charged. This is up to 25 percent per Mass General Laws 33(a). Not paying a due tax also results in one percent (or a fraction) of the unpaid tax up to a maximum of 25 percent according to Laws 33(b).
The failure to pay deficiency assessment is one percent (or a fraction) up to 25 percent per state law 33(c). This penalty is combined with Massachusetts General Law 33(b). This combination makes it a double penalty.
Filing a fraudulent return or failing to file after a notice results in a penalty up to double the tax amount due.
Where Do I Mail/E-file My Massachusetts Return?
There are addresses used for both an original and an amended return. Using Form 1 or Form 1-NR/P.Y., use address DOR, P.O. Box 7000, Boston, MA 02204 if you are going to receive a refund. But use DOR, P.O. Box 7003, Boston, MA 02204 if you are paying taxes.
There is an opportunity for qualified filers to e-file for free. If you have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $32,000 or less, e-filing is free with 1040Now. This is limited to three free tax returns per computer. This applies to both Massachusetts returns and federal returns.
For those taxpayers who don’t qualify for free electronic filing, there is a $17.95 fee for e-filing a state return and a $19.95 fee for e-filing with the IRS using 1040Now.
How Do I Pay Taxes Due?
A filer can mail a payment to the Massachusetts DOR. A taxpayer payment voucher Form PV is needed with a check or money order.
You can also pay taxes online with an ACH debit or credit card. DOR accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. A payment processor will process the transaction and charge a 2.49 percent convenience fee. The convenience fee doesn’t go to the DOR.
To make a payment online, go to MassTaxConnect and go to quick links where it says "Make a Payment," then follow the prompts. You will need to have your legal name, Social Security number or individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and payment voucher. You will need to enter the payment amount.
If you are unable to pay your income tax when you file, there are options. Pay as much as you can, and the DOR will bill for the balance. Then, call to set up a payment plan by calling (617) 887-6367. The toll-free number for Massachusetts DOR is (800) 392-6089. A payment plan can also be set up through MassTaxConnect.
If you owe and can't pay $5,001 or greater, you will not be able to go through MassTaxConnect and must set up a plan by calling collections at (617) 887-6400.
Where Can I Check My Massachusetts Refund Status?
An electronically filed refund takes up to six weeks. A paper tax return refund takes up to 10 weeks.
Go to MassTaxConnect to inquire about your tax refund status. You will need to know your I.D. type, year for the refund and requested refund amount.
The toll-free number in Massachusetts to check on your refund is (800) 392-6089. Another number to check on a refund is (617) 887-6367.
What About Massachusetts Taxes if You’re Self-employed?
A self-employed individual files and pays state income taxes through their personal income tax return.
What About Massachusetts Taxes if You're a Business?
A business and manufacturing corporation pays an eight percent tax rate on net income. There is also a charge of $2.60 per $1,000 of tangible property or net worth. The minimum a corporation can pay is $456 per tax year.
An S-corporation pays two percent of net income for total sales receipts of $6 million or more but less than $9 million. The minimum paid per tax year is $456. It pays $2.60 per $1,000 of tangible property or net worth.
LLCs, S- corporations (up to a limit) and partnerships are pass-through entities. In Massachusetts, these members must file on their personal tax returns. But pass-through entities must report to the DOR how each member will comply with filing.
Rates and dates in this article are correct as of publication. But check for any changes at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue before you file.
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Who Must file a State Personal Income Tax Return
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Personal Income Tax for Residents
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Learn About Penalty Rates in Massachusetts
- The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Section 33
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Mailing Addresses for Massachusetts Tax Forms
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: MassTaxtConnect
- 1040 Now: MA Free File Offer
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Explore Filing Options for Massachusetts Personal Income Tax Returns
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Pay Your Personal Income Tax
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Check the Status of Your Tax Refund
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Tax Guide for Pass-Through Entities
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Massachusetts Tax Rates
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue: Featured Services
Anne attended University of Akron and went on to have a career in television sales. Working as a commercial property and casualty insurance agent for nine years allowed her to learn about different businesses' needs. She has also owned an advertising agency where she created marketing capaigns for various clients. Anne has written for several publications. She currently resides in Charleston, SC.