Tuesday, March 2, 2010
S.J. Port
portsj@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2377

Monthly collections $50 million more than a year ago, $3 million below monthly benchmark

Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for February 2010 totaled $1.004 billion, up $50 million or 5.2 percent from last February. Total tax collections were $3 million below the February monthly benchmark corresponding to the revised FY10 revenue estimate of $18.460 billion. FY10 year-to-date tax collections total $11.561 billion, down $242 million, or 2.1 percent below the same period a year ago, and are $34 million above the FY2010 year-to-date benchmark.

February has historically been the smallest net tax collection month of the fiscal year as there are no quarterly or annual payments due, and post-holiday sales tax collections are relatively low. February is also the month in which refunds start to accumulate as taxpayers submit their returns for tax year 2009. "As we anticipated in January, February withholding collections came in below benchmark after last month's above-benchmark performance. However, sales tax came in above benchmark as there continue to be signs of stability and some recovery in consumer spending, and corporate/business taxes were also higher than projected," Bal said.

February withholding collections totaled $761 million, down $47 million or 5.8 percent, $27 million below the February benchmark. As the Department noted in its January revenue press release, January's $66 million above-benchmark withholding performance was attributable to timing factors, which were reversed in February, resulting in the February decline. For the January-February period, withholding was down $1 million from the same period in FY09, $40 million above benchmark for those two months. FY10 YTD withholding collections total $5.901 billion, down $176 million or 2.9 percent, also $40 million above the YTD benchmark.

February has historically been one of the two largest income tax refund months of the year, as taxpayers begin to file their tax returns for the prior tax year. February income tax cash refunds totaled $344 million, down $14 million or 3.9%, $14 million below the monthly benchmark. YTD income tax refunds total $721 million, up $71 million or 11.0%, $11 million below the YTD benchmark.

February has historically been the smallest sales tax collection month of the year, due to the post-holiday retail sales lull (February sales tax remittances reflect January sales). February sales tax collections totaled $345 million, up $67 million or 24.1 percent but down 2.6 percent on a baseline basis, $7 million above the revised monthly benchmark. FY10 YTD sales tax collections total $3.024 billion, up $382 million or 14.5 percent but down 5.9 percent on a baseline basis.

February is a relatively small month for corporate/business tax collections, so large percentage changes can result from relatively small changes in payments. February 2010 corporate/business tax collections totaled $58 million, up $16 million or 37.0 percent. FY10 YTD corporate/business tax collections total $987 million, up $47 million or 5.0 percent, but down 2.6 percent baseline, $40 million above the YTD benchmark.

FY2010 Year-to-Date Revenue through February 28, 2010 pdf format of    feb_ytd_revenue.pdf

February 2010 Tax Collection Summary (preliminary as of March 2, 2010) pdf format of    Feb_tax_summary.pdf