Hearing before Abatement Denial

Taxpayers who disagree with an assessment have the right to an abatement hearing before the abatement is denied in full or in part. Generally, such hearings are conducted by the Office of Appeals. For more information, see mass.gov/dor/appeals.

The Office of Appeals will review the taxpayer's application and may request that the taxpayer provide additional information. If the Office of Appeals determines that the abatement should be granted, no hearing will be necessary.

A hearing is granted only if the taxpayer requests it in writing and if there is a possibility that a claim will be denied in full or in part. A taxpayer may request a hearing by filing a dispute online at mass.gov/masstaxconnect or by completing Item 4 of Form ABT, Application for Abatement

If a taxpayer did not request a hearing on the application for abatement, a request may be made in writing to the Office of Appeals which must be received before any formal determination has been made on the application.

The online dispute filing or the paper Form ABT should include a statement of the facts and issues in dispute and, if appropriate, should cite relevant statutory references. The taxpayer should attach to his or her application any exhibits which substantiate the claim for abatement.

Limitation on Multiple Abatement Hearings
Taxpayer will be entitled to either a pre-assessment hearing or an abatement hearing, but not both, unless:

  • the taxpayer establishes that there is new factual information or new legal precedent that was not available to the taxpayer at the time of the pre-assessment hearing; or
  • the taxpayer raises a new issue not considered at the pre-assessment hearing.

A taxpayer filing an abatement application, who has previously had a pre-assessment hearing and wishes to request a new abatement hearing must submit in writing, and file with the online dispute or the Form ABT either:

  • a statement and supporting documentation of the specific additional facts that will be relied upon at the abatement hearing and an explanation as to why these facts were not available at the pre-assessment hearing; or
  • the name and citation of the recently decided court case, Appellate Tax Board opinion, or other legal precedent that was issued subsequent to the pre-assessment hearing and a written explanation as to why that legal authority should control the outcome of the abatement application.

Note: A decision that is either under appeal by the Department or may be appealed by the Department will not be considered a new legal precedent for purposes of this section. Taxpayers who have had a pre-assessment hearing who do not meet these requirements will not be granted an abatement hearing and the Department will grant or deny their abatement application based on the written information provided and information in the Department's records or provided to the Department from third party sources.

Hearing before Penalty Abatement Denial, Including Section 28 and Interest

Hearings before penalty abatement denials, including denials of Section 28 penalties, are also held by the Office of Appeals. Please note that interest is mandated by law and cannot be abated.

Hearing before Assessment

A taxpayer who has received a Notice of Intent to Assess may confer with the Commissioner within thirty days after the date of the issuance of the Notice of Intent to assess.  To appeal the Notice of Intent to Assess, a taxpayer may file a dispute request online at mass.gov/masstaxconnect

A timely request for a conference must be received by the Commissioner by the thirtieth day following the issuance of the Notice of Intent to Assess. A request for a conference received after the thirtieth day will be considered solely at the discretion of the Commissioner.

Massachusetts References: