Friday, June 3, 2011
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

Monthly collection is down $68 million from a year ago, $56 million below benchmark; Year-to-date collection up $1.859 billion, $676 million over benchmark

Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for May 2011 totaled $1.506 billion, down $68 million or 4.3 percent from last May.

Total tax collections were $56 million below the monthly benchmark that was revised upward to $19.784 billion on January 18th. The below benchmark performance was due largely to shortfalls in income tax payments with bills, returns and extensions and in withholding.

"After an exceptionally robust collection in April, which came in $587 million over benchmark fueled largely by volatile capital gains income tax collection, it is not surprising that collections took a dip in May. Faster processing of returns in April, due principally to increased usage of electronic filing, as well as some withholding that was expected in May but paid in April, account for the below benchmark performance. DOR remains cautiously optimistic that revenues will continue to reflect a growing economy, but the April to May results show that there can still be adjustments month to month," Bal said.

The Commissioner noted that lower than expected income tax refund payments and higher than expected estate taxes helped to offset the declines in May income tax collections.

Year-to-date tax collections of $18.366 billion are up $1.859 billion over a year ago, up 11.3 percent, $676 million over benchmark.

Withholding taxes in May totaled $756 million, up $47 million or 6.6 percent from a year ago but were $49 million below benchmark. Income tax returns and bills totaled $142 million, down $197 million or 58.1 percent from a year ago, $67 million below benchmark, reflecting income tax payments not due last year until May 11, the result of widespread flooding in Massachusetts .

Income tax refunds totaled $64 million, down $38 million or 36.8 percent, which is $17 million less than had been projected.

May 2011 sales taxes totaled $400 million, up $3 million or 0.7 percent, at benchmark.

May is not a significant month for corporate/business tax collections, which totaled $54 million, up $13 million or 30.4 percent from a year ago and $2 million below the monthly benchmark.

Year-to-date, income tax collections total $10.458 billion, up $1.369 billion or 15.1 percent from a year ago and $577 million over benchmark. Sales and use tax collections total $4.482 billion, up $294 million or 7.0 percent from a year ago and at benchmark. Corporate/business taxes total $1.791 billion, up $90 million or 5.3 percent from a year ago and $26 million over benchmark.

FY2011 Year-to-Date Tax Revenue through May 31, 2011 pdf format of may_ytd_revenue.pdf

May 2011 Tax Collection Summary (preliminary as of June 3, 2011) pdf format of may_tax_summary.pdf