I. Introduction

This Technical Information Release (TIR) explains a change in the deadline for filing an abatement application under General Laws Chapter 62C, § 37, which under some circumstances will give a taxpayer additional time to file an abatement application.

II. Discussion

Generally, Massachusetts law provides that if the Commissioner determines from the verification of a return or otherwise, that the full amount of any tax has not been assessed, he may, at any time within three years after the date the return was filed or the date the return was required to be filed, whichever occurs later, assess the tax. G.L. c. 62C, § 26.

General Laws Chapter 62C, § 37, provides that any person aggrieved by the assessment of a tax, other than a tax under chapters 65 or 65A, may file an application for abatement within three years from the last day for filing the return for such tax, determined without regard to any extension of time, within two years from the date the tax was assessed or deemed to be assessed, or within one year from the date that the tax was paid, whichever is later.
Under certain circumstances, generally in connection with an ongoing audit, the Commissioner and the taxpayer may agree to an extension of time for assessment as provided by G.L. c. 62C, § 27. Prior to the enactment of St. 1993, c. 110, § 122, entering into such an agreement did not extend the deadline for filing an abatement application, and that deadline could expire during this extended assessment period.

The new legislation, St. 1993, c. 110, § 122, adds the following to G.L. c. 62C, § 37: "where the commissioner and the taxpayer have agreed to extend the period for assessment of a tax pursuant to section twenty-seven, the period for abatement or for abating such tax shall not expire prior to the expiration period within which an assessment may be made pursuant to such agreement or any extension thereof." As a result of this statutory change, the deadline for filing an abatement application will now automatically extend to the end of any agreed additional period for making an assessment.

This change is effective July 1, 1993, and applies to any tax subject to abatement under G.L. c. 62C, § 37, if the time for assessment has been extended pursuant to an agreement between the Commissioner and the taxpayer and if the agreed time for assessment or any extension thereof expires on or after July 1, 1993.

III. Procedure

A taxpayer filing an abatement application for which the deadline would have expired but for an agreement to extend the time for assessment, should attach to the abatement application (Form CA-6) a copy of the executed agreement to extend the time for assessment.

Mitchell Adams
Commissioner of Revenue

October 22, 1993

TIR 93-11