April Revenue Collections Total $2.866 Billion
(Boston, MA) - Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for April totaled $2.866 billion, $359 million or 14.3 percent more than the state took in last April. Strong payments with 2012 income tax returns and extensions and 2013 quarterly estimated tax bills offset the shortfall in withholding, sales and estate tax collections to end the month $153 million above the monthly benchmark based on the revised FY13 revenue estimate of $21.496 billion.
Tax collections so far this fiscal year total $18.145 billion, $941 million or 5.5 percent more than a year ago and $510 million above the year-to-date benchmark. $359 million of the year-to-date surplus was in income tax estimated payments and income tax payments with returns and extensions. DOR has also received $109 million tax-related judgment and settlement payments in excess of $10 million since December, contributing to the year-to-date increase in corporate and business tax collections.
April is, historically, the largest tax collection month of the year because payments with income tax returns and extensions for the previous year are due on April 16, and so are the first quarterly estimated income tax payments for the new tax year. Even though the tax filing deadline was extended three months from April 16 as a consequence of the marathon explosions, all but a small number of anticipated taxpayers have submitted returns or extensions.
Income tax collections in April totaled $2.215 billion, $364 billion or 19.6 percent more than a year ago and were $173 million above the monthly benchmark, mostly due to higher-than-expected income tax payments with returns of $1.522 billion, which was $378 million more than a year ago. April income tax cash estimated payments of $250 million, which was up $36 million or 17.0 percent from the same period last year, also contributed to the surplus.
“Massachusetts, like many other states, experienced robust collections that were mostly driven by investment-related income in tax year 2012 as investors continued to react to the federal fiscal policy changes that went into effect the first day of the year,” said Commissioner Pitter. “It has always been difficult to predict investor behavior, so this kind of revenue growth should not necessarily be considered a definitive and ongoing trend.”
Year-to-date income tax collections totaled $10,665 billion, up $812 million or 8.2 percent from the same period last year and $359 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
Corporate and business tax collections of $68 million were $9 million or 14.3 percent higher than a year ago and were $8 million above benchmark. Year-to-date collections total $1.718 billion, up $61 million or 3.7 percent over the same period last year and $173 million above the year-to-date benchmark. One time tax-related judgments and settlements accounted for $109 million of the year-to-date corporate and business tax collections performance.
Income tax cash refunds have now caught up with last year’s collections after the IRS delayed the opening of this year’s tax season. Refunds totaled $350 million in April, up $51 million from last April and $49 million over the monthly benchmark but are still down $6 million from the year-to-date benchmark. Returns will continue to be processed in May, and we anticipate more payments will be deposited.
Sales tax collections for April totaled $445 million, up $11 million or 2.5 percent from the same period a year ago and $5 million below the April benchmark. Year-to-date collections totaled $4.273 billion, up $69 million or 1.6 percent from the same period last year, but $29 million below anticipated year-to-date collections.