January 5, 1981
You request a ruling concerning the income taxation of stipends paid to members of the Elder Service Corps ("Corps").
The Corps was created by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 19A, Section 13 to assist in meeting the needs of the elderly population of Massachusetts and to offer elderly persons opportunities to provide service. It is composed of persons sixty years of age and older. Full-time corpsmen are paid stipends not exceeding the maximum allowable under the limitations on earnings provisions of the Social Security Act and part-time corpsmen are paid stipends not exceeding $100 per month.
Gross income is defined under the Internal Revenue Code as all income from whatever source derived including but not limited to income from wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, fees and other compensation from employment; it does not include amounts received as social security.
General Laws Chapter 62, Section 2 defines Massachusetts gross income as federal gross income with certain modifications. Generally, an item of income which is included in federal gross income for a taxable year is included in Massachusetts gross income. Section 5 of Chapter 62 provides that an individual is not subject to taxation if his total income does not exceed $3,000 for a single individual or $5,000 in the aggregate for a husband and wife.
Based on the foregoing it is ruled that stipends paid to members of the Elder Service Corps are includible in Massachusetts gross income under Chapter 62 to the extent that such amounts are includible in gross income for federal income tax purposes. If the total income of a corpsman does not exceed $3,000 if single, or $5,000 in the aggregate for a husband and wife, the income is exempt from Massachusetts income taxation.
Very truly yours,
/s/L. Joyce Hampers
L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue
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LR 81-3