616.1. When Registration is Required.
616.2. Original Registration.
616.3. Filing Requirements.
616.4. Registration for Additional Locations or Additional Taxes.
616.5. Correspondence, Change of Information or Organization.
616.6. Cancellation of Registration.
616.1. When Registration is Required
A business is required to register with DOR to collect withholding tax, sales/use tax, sales tax on meals (meals tax) or room occupancy excise if it:
has people working for it in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 62B);
has a business location in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H);
sells taxable telecommunications services in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H);
sells or rents taxable items in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H);
serves meals and/or alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H);
provides lodgings in Massachusetts subject to the room occupancy excise (G.L. c. 64G);
is an assignee of lottery winnings subject to withholding (G.L. c. 10 and G.L. c. 62B);
withholds from a pension plan, annuity or retirement distribution (G.L. c. 62B); or
withholds from payments to performers or performing entities (G.L. c. 62B).
Taxpayers must register with DOR to collect taxes before the business actually opens. See G.L. c. 64G, § 6 and G.L. c. 64H, § 7.
616.2. Original Registration
Effective September 1, 2003, WebFile for Business, an online application, must be used by business operators, professionals, and organizations to register with the Department to collect withholding, sales and use, telecommunications services, meals, and room occupancy taxes and, as of January 1, 2009, pass-thru entity withholding taxes. WebFile for Business is used to register new corporate excise tax filers and WebFile for Business users. WebFile for Business is also used to register as a use tax purchaser, a chapter 180 organization selling alcoholic beverages, or as a tax‑exempt purchaser. Additionally, WebFile for Business is used to register to collect any of the Convention Center Financing surcharges, the Revere Vehicular Rental surcharge and the Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Excise.
Once your registration is processed, a WebFile for Business account will be established for you to electronically file and pay your tax obligations via our website.
DOR will send a registration certificate to businesses registered to collect the sales, meals or rooms taxes. Certificates must be displayed at the location at which the tax is being collected. See 830 CMR 62C.67.1 for more information concerning proper display of certificate.
616.3. Filing Requirements
Registered businesses have a requirement to file tax returns with DOR. The Guide to Withholding of Taxes on Wages, Guide to Withholding of Taxes on Performers and Performing Entities, Guide to Sales and Use Tax, and Guide to Sales Tax on Meals contain information on that requirement. These guides explain whether a business must file and pay on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis. A tax return must be filed even if no tax is due.
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 the tax returns due on or after January 1, 2003. Effective September 1, 2003, regardless of the amount of their annual tax liability, new businesses must file and pay withholding taxes, sales/use tax (including sales taxes on meals and telecommunications services) and room occupancy excise taxes electronically even if no tax is due. Effective January 1, 2004, existing businesses with combined annual liabilities of $10,000 or more are required to file returns and to make payments electronically. See TIR 04-30 for more details. Additionally, effective January 1, 2011, existing businesses with combined annual liabilities of $5,000 or more are required to file returns and to make payments electronically.
616.4. Registration for Additional Locations or Additional Taxes
WebFile for Business must be used to register additional locations and to register a location for a tax that it was not originally registered to collect.
DOR will send registration certificates to businesses registered to collect the sales, meals or rooms taxes. Certificates must be displayed at each location at which the tax is being collected. See 830 CMR 62C.67.1 for more information.
616.5. Correspondence, Change of Information or Organization
Businesses needing to change an address or other information with DOR should use the pre‑printed Change of Address/Information Form AI-1 provided in the payment booklet. Businesses required to electronically file or pay should use WebFile for Business to request such changes.
Businesses that change their type of legal organization, e.g., from a sole proprietorship to a partnership, must cancel their original registration with DOR (see 616.6 below) and re‑register under the new organization type using WebFile for Business.
Businesses needing to correspond with DOR for other reasons should not send correspondence with a tax return but should send a letter to Mass. DOR, Customer Service Bureau, P.O. Box 7010, Boston, MA 02204. The letter should include the following identifying information:
business name (if different from legal name);
federal i.d. number or social security number;
filing frequency: monthly, quarterly or annual; and
which taxes the business is registered to collect.
616.6. Cancellation of Registration
A business wishing to cancel a registration may, when filing its regular annual, monthly or quarterly return, check the box on the form indicating that the return is final. The taxpayer may also file Form AI-1, Change of Address/Information, described in 616.5 above. If a Form AI-1 is not available, the business may send a signed cancellation letter to: Mass. DOR, P.O. Box 7011, Boston, MA 02204. The letter must include the business' request to cancel registration, the tax types of registrations being cancelled, the date the business was closed and the identifying information described in 616.5 above.
Businesses required to electronically file or pay may use their WebFile for Business account to close a location or cancel a tax registration.
The Commissioner may revoke a sales/use tax registration where it is found that the registration was obtained in bad faith by a vendor without nexus registering solely for the purpose of avoiding tax on drop-shipments.
For more information on registration, write to Massachusetts DOR, Customer Service Bureau, P.O. Box 7010, Boston, MA 02204 or call (617) 887-MDOR or toll-free within Massachusetts at 1 (800) 392-6089.
DOR hosts Small Business Workshops for people starting new businesses. See AP 601.1.2, Community Outreach Programs, for more information.
G.L. c. 10
G.L. c. 62B
G.L. c. 62C, §§ 5, 67
G.L. c. 64G, § 6
G.L. c. 64H, § 7
830 CMR 62C.67.1
AP 601, Assistance, Service, Obtaining Information
Form AI-1, Change of Address/Information