Massachusetts State Tax Updates

***Update: March 27, 2020
Personal Income Tax deadline extended. Baker announced that income tax returns filing due dates and income tax payment due dates would be extended consistent with the federal extension due dates. The extension is expected to be automatic. At this time it, according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), only personal income tax returns and payments due April 15, 2020 are extended to July 15, 2020. The DOR will issue more detailed guidance shortly.


Original article, posted March 25, 2020:
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several important tax updates specific to Massachusetts. Here are the key updates to keep top of mind.

Sales Tax Filings and Payments Postponed
Returns and payments due during the period beginning March 20, 2020 and ending May 31, 2020, inclusive, shall be suspended for sales by vendors whose cumulative liability in the 12-month period ending February 29, 2020 is less than $150,000. All such returns and payments shall be due on June 20, 2020. This suspension does not apply to marijuana retailers, marketplace facilitators or vendors selling motor vehicles.

Occupancy Excise Tax Filings and Payments Postponed
Returns and payments due during the period beginning March 20, 2020 and ending May 31, 2020, inclusive, shall be suspended for operators whose cumulative liability in the 12-month period ending February 29, 2020 is less than $150,000. All such returns and payments, including any local option amounts, shall be due on June 20, 2020. This suspension does not apply to intermediaries.

Meals Tax Penalty Relief
The Department of Revenue will waive any late-file or late-pay penalties for returns and payments due during the period March 20, 2020 through May 31, 2020, for:

  • Vendors with meals tax return and payment obligations that do not otherwise qualify for relief under the sales tax filing and payment suspension; and
  • Operators and intermediaries with room occupancy excise return and payment obligations pursuant that do not otherwise qualify for relief under the occupancy excise tax filing and payment suspension.

Statutory interest will continue to accrue. To be eligible for a penalty waiver, vendors, operators and intermediaries must file their returns and remit payments on or before June 20, 2020.

We will be updating our resource center regularly to provide you with insights on breaking news and how it may affect your life or your business. Please be sure to check back for new information or reach out to the attorneys at Burns & Levinson for guidance.

Related article: COVID-19 Federal Tax Updates


About the Author: Harry S. Miller­
Harry Miller is Chair of Burns & Levinson’s Tax and Tax Controversy & Litigation groups. He focuses his practice on tax matters, including corporate and partnership tax matters, mergers and acquisitions, international taxation, nonprofit organizations, and estate planning. He can be reached at hmiller@burnslev.com or 617.345.3236

Rodney Bedow is a member of the Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Business, Finance & Transactions and Cannabis Business Advisory groups. Rodney focuses his practice on tax matters, including corporate and partnership, international taxation, sales & use taxation, nonprofit organizations and individual tax matters. Rodney has significant experience with complex business transactions, including reorganizations, acquisitions, divestitures, liquidations and commercial deals in both the domestic and cross-border context. He can be reached at rbedow@burnslev.com or 617.345.3376.

3 Comments



  1. Any idea if the MA income tax due dates will be deferred like the Federal income tax deferral to July 15th?

    Reply

    1. As of now, the MA Department of Revenue has not announced an automatic extension of the due date for filing returns or for paying state income taxes, unlike the IRS. But the MA DOR has indicated that they are working on a plan to provide relief with respect to Massachusetts returns and payments, and I would expect that to be announced shortly. In the meantime, the DOR may waive penalties under certain circumstances.

      Reply

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