Procedures
603.1. Filing Requirements in General.
603.2. Tax Forms.
603.3. Reproduction of Tax Forms.
603.4  Electronic Signature and Storage of Taxpayer Declaration for Electronic Filing.
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603.1. Filing Requirements in General

Chapter 62C of the Massachusetts General Laws requires taxpayers to file certain returns and other statements of information with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR).  Any return required to be filed under that chapter must include a signed statement that the return is made under the penalties of perjury.  In addition, certain corporations, companies, organizations and associations must have returns signed by the treasurer or assistant treasurer or, in their absence, any principal officer of the corporation.

Recent legislation amending G.L. c. 62C, § 5 authorizes the Commissioner of Revenue to specify the method of filing tax returns and other documents.

The Commissioner begins to exercise that authority to require employers, operators, and vendors collecting taxes above certain annual thresholds to file their returns and pay their taxes by electronic means for tax returns due on or after January 1, 2003.  The threshold is currently set at $5,000.  Corporate excise tax returns generally must be filed electronically if the corporation has gross receipts in excess of $100,000 for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2005.  See TIR 04-30, TIR 05-22 and TIR 10-18 for more details.

For more information on filing requirements by tax type, see the appropriate sections of Chapter 62C and applicable regulations as listed below.
TAX TYPE
Income
Withholding
Corporate Excise
Sales, Use, Meals Tax
Gasoline Excise
Cigarette Excise
Special Fuels
Imported Fuels
Room Occupancy Excise
Jet Fuel
Alcoholic Beverage Excise
Estate Tax

 
G.L. c. 62C SECTION
§§ 6,7
§§ 8,10
§§ 11,12,13,14,15
§§  8A, 16(h), (i)
§ 16(a)
§ 16(c)(d)
§ 16(e)
§ 16(f)
§ 16(g)
§ 16(j)
§ 16(k)
§ 17
REGULATION

830 CMR 62B.2.1

830 CMR 62C.16.2
830 CMR 64A.4.1

830 CMR 64E.4.1
830 CMR 64F.6.1
830 CMR 62C.16.1
830 CMR 64J.4.1

830 CMR 65C.1.1


603.2. Tax Forms

The Department of Revenue is charged with the preparation and distribution of tax forms, but it is ultimately the taxpayer's responsibility to obtain and file the proper return.  DOR makes every effort to provide accurate forms, but recognizes that errors may occur.  Therefore, nothing contained in a tax form supersedes, alters or otherwise affects the provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws or any other source of the law.  Information regarding errors is communicated to taxpayers and tax practitioners through DOR’s website or other published documents.

Forms, instructions and schedules needed for filing may be obtained from:

  • The Department’s website at www.mass.gov/dor or
  • The automated forms telephone line at (617) 887-MDOR or statewide, toll-free at 1(800) 392-6089

During the filing season, individual tax booklets can also be found at many libraries and IRS offices. 


603.3. Reproduction of Tax Forms

The Commissioner will accept reproductions of most tax forms and supporting schedules except forms designed to be readable by optical character recognition (OCR) equipment or that will be imaged. Generally, reproductions must be:
 

facsimiles of the official forms produced by photo‑offset, photoengraving, photocopying or other similar reproduction process;

either in black ink on white paper or of the same paper and ink color as the original form;

legible in terms of the actual reproduction and the filled‑in data; and

substantially the same size as the original form.
 

For further guidelines on reproducing forms, schedules and supporting statements and obtaining prior approval from DOR when needed, see TIR 95-8, Personal Income Tax Software Developers Guide and Corporate Excise Tax Record Layouts on DOR’s website at www.mass.gov/dor.

DOR reserves the right to reject any form that does not comply with these specifications.  Such rejection may subject the taxpayer to late penalties and/or interest charges.


603.4  Electronic Signature and Storage of Taxpayer Declaration for Electronic Filing

DOR will permit a taxpayer’s Declaration for Electronic Filing, the Form M-8453 series, to be signed electronically by the taxpayer and stored electronically by the electronic return originator (ERO) if the ERO’s electronic signature and storage procedures meet the following technical standards and security provisions:
 

1.  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Rev. Proc. 97-22 or its successors;

2.  Standards established by the IRS for electronic signature and storage of the comparable federal Declaration for Electronic Filing;

3.  Massachusetts Directive 95-2, Electronic Storage and Reproduction of Taxpayer Records, or its successors;

4.  Massachusetts Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (G.L. c. 110G);

5.  Protection of Massachusetts tax return information under G.L. c. 62C, § 74;

6.  The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants auditing standards applicable to service organizations; and

7.  Any other applicable federal and state laws and regulations relating to electronic signature and storage of personally identifiable information.
 

As required in Directive 99-13, Declaration for Electronic Filing Forms must be accessible according to their Document Control Number for easy retrieval, and must be available for inspection and examination at any reasonable time by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s duly appointed representative. The Commissioner reserves the right to make future modifications, effective prospectively, to requirements affecting taxpayer declaration forms.

 

REFERENCES:
G.L. c. 62C, §§ 5, 6, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16(a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), 17
830 CMR 62B.2.1
830 CMR 62C.3.1(9)
830 CMR 62C.16.1
830 CMR 62C.16.2
830 CMR 64A.4.1
830 CMR 64E.4.1
830 CMR 64F.6.1
830 CMR 64J.4.1
830 CMR 65C.1.1
TIR 04-30
TIR 05-22
TIR 95-8
TIR 10-18
Form 1, Resident Income Tax Return
Form 1-NR/PY, Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return