Issue: Does a tax practitioner's use of the Department of Revenue's Webfile for Business result in the practitioner taking on the status as a responsible person for the taxpayer?
Directive: No. A tax practitioner who files returns and pays taxes on behalf of his or her client does not become personally and individually responsible for the payment of the client's tax liabilities as a responsible person under G.L. c. 62C, § 31A by virtue of the tax practitioner's use of Webfile for Business. On the other hand, a tax practitioner who already is a responsible person for a particular taxpayer, because the practitioner has the requisite duty or responsibility to pay over taxes, remains a responsible person regardless of the use of Webfile for Business.
A responsible person can include an officer or employee of a corporation, or member or employee of a partnership, or any other person who has a duty or responsibility to pay over withholding, room occupancy excise, or sales or use taxes including sales tax on meals. An independent professional tax practitioner having no authority over the taxpayer's business affairs or control over the decision to disburse the taxpayer's funds is not, generally, a responsible person. Having the authority to file or pay the taxpayer's taxes electronically does not, without more, transform a tax practitioner into a responsible person.
Commissioner of Revenue
December 31, 2003