October 26, 1983

You inquire as to the Massachusetts income tax status of contributions to the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

The Nongame Wildlife Fund was created by Chapter 330 of the Acts of 1983 to finance nongame wildlife programs in the Commonwealth. The program is administered by the Director of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Section 3 of Chapter 330 added a new Section 6D to Chapter 62 of the General Laws providing that persons filing income tax returns "may voluntarily contribute all or any part of any refund to which they are entitled to the Massachusetts Nongame Wildlife Fund." The Commissioner of Revenue is to prescribe the manner in which such contribution shall be made on the face of the income tax return. Section 6D of Chapter 62 applies to taxable years commencing on or after January 1, 1983.

For personal income tax purposes Massachusetts gross income is federal gross income with certain modifications. (G.L. c. 62, § 2). For federal income tax purposes charitable contributions, including contributions to a State for public purposes, are deductible from gross income in determining taxable income. (I.R.C. § 170). In determining Massachusetts gross income and Massachusetts taxable income, no exemption or deduction is granted for charitable contributions. (G.L. c. 62, §§ 2, 3).

Therefore, the amount of any tax refund contributed by a taxpayer to the Nongame Wildlife Fund is not deductible from his income subject to Massachusetts income taxation.

Very truly yours,

/s/Ira A. Jackson

Ira A. Jackson
Commissioner of Revenue

IAJ:JJW:mf

LR 83-80