Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

Collections are $36 million above revised benchmark and up $55 million from a year ago



Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for January 2010 total $1.846 billion, up $55 million or 3.1 percent from last January.

Total tax collections for the month and the fiscal year were $36 million above the monthly and year-to-date benchmarks based on the FY2010 estimate of $18.460 billion, issued by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance on January 7, 2010. FY10 year-to-date (YTD) tax collections total $10.558 billion, down $292 million or 2.7 percent from the same period in FY09.

January is one of the larger tax collection months of the year due to withholding on end-of-year bonus payments, final income tax estimated payments for tax year 2009, and sales tax receipts capturing holiday season transactions.

"January is also the fourth consecutive month in which tax collections have exceeded those of the previous year, as well as the monthly benchmark," Bal said. "Performance in withholding, sales tax and corporate/business tax collections drove the January revenue numbers up and over benchmarks, but this growth was partly offset by weakness in income tax estimated payments."

January withholding collections totaled $814 million, up $46 million or 6.0 percent from the same period in FY09, $66 million above the newly revised January benchmark, although at least some of the January growth and above-benchmark performance might have been due to timing factors and could be reversed in February. FY10 YTD withholding collections total $5.139 billion, down $129 million or 2.4 percent, also $66 million above benchmark for the year.

January income tax cash estimated payments totaled $436 million, down $117 million or 21.1 percent from the same period in FY09, and were $77 million below the revised monthly and annual benchmark. FY10 YTD income tax cash estimated payments total $960 million, down $327 million or 25.4 percent from the same period in FY09.

Income tax refunds of $78 million for the month were $1 million more than a year ago, and were $3 million above benchmark for the month and year.

January is the largest sales tax collection month of the year, as sales tax from the December holiday season transactions is remitted. January sales tax collections totaled $449 million, up $89 million or 24.6 percent but were down 2.7 percent on a baseline basis (factoring out tax law changes from a year ago), $11 million above the revised monthly and yearly benchmarks. Revenue from taxable holiday season sales in the retail sector grew for the first time since August 2008 (17 months ago) and was up about 0.8% baseline from a year earlier. Business-to-business sales, however, were down 4.5% baseline. Sales taxes on alcoholic beverages totaled approximately $14.4 million, $2.3 million above the revised monthly forecast. In the five collection months since the removal of the alcoholic beverages exemption, approximately $52.5 million in alcoholic beverages sales tax has been received. Over that same period, the volume of alcoholic beverages sold in Massachusetts, based on the alcoholic beverages excise tax, has increased by 0.9% compared to the same period in FY09. FY10 YTD sales tax collections total $2.680 billion, up $315 million or 13.3 percent but are down 6.5 percent on a baseline basis from the same period in FY09.

January is a relatively small month for corporate/business tax collections, so large percentage changes can result from relatively small changes in payments. January 2010 corporate/business tax collections totaled $54 million, up $29 million or 118.6 percent from the same period in FY09, with growth driven by a combination of one-time payments, audit assessments, and new revenues from implementation of corporate combined reporting. January collections were $25 million above the revised monthly and yearly benchmark. FY10 YTD corporate/business tax collections total $930 million, up $31 million or 3.5 percent, but are down 4.5 percent baseline from the same period in FY09.

FY2010 Year-to-Date Revenue through January 31, 2010 pdf format of jan_ytd_revenue.pdf

January 2010 Tax Collection Summary (preliminary as of February 3, 2010) pdf format of Jan_tax_summary.pdf