Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

Faster April processing lowers income collected in May

Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for May 2008 totaled $1.494 billion, down $42 million or 2.7 percent from last May.

Total tax collections were $68 million below the May monthly benchmark due largely to rapid processing of tax returns and income from returns in April, which in turn reduced collections in May.

FY08 year-to-date tax collections total $18.617 billion, up $1.174 billion or 6.7 percent ahead of the same period a year ago, and are $632 million above the FY08 year-to-date benchmark corresponding to the FY08 estimate of $20.225 billion.

"As I mentioned a month ago, the exceptionally robust April tax collection was in part built on speedier processing of tax returns which resulted in about $60 million to $70 million in revenue that in previous years would not have been tallied until May," said DOR Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal. "The May 2008 collection would have come at or near the benchmark if not for that faster processing in April," she said.

May 2008 withholding collections totaled $724 million, up $63 million or 9.5 percent from May 2007 and $40 million over the benchmark, probably indicating that the lagging withholding collections of April 2008 were due to timing factors. Income tax payments with returns and bills totaled $335 million, down $79 million or 19.1 percent from a year ago and $77 million below the monthly benchmark. May income tax refunds totaled $116 million, up $28 million or 31.6 percent ahead of a year ago and $28 million above the benchmark, due to a greater number of refunds processed in May.

May 2008 sales tax collections totaled $328 million, down $5 million or 1.6 percent and $7 million below the benchmark. Regular and motor vehicles sales tax collections were weak, partly offset by strong meals tax receipts.

May is not a significant month for corporate/business taxes. Collections totaled $42 million, up $3 million or 7.3 percent over a year ago and $7 million above the monthly benchmark.

FY2008 Year-to-Date Tax Revenue through May 31, 2008 pdf format of 0805graph.pdf

May 2008 Tax Collections Summary (preliminary as of June 3, 2008) pdf format of May_2008_TaxSummary.pdf