March Revenue Collections Total $1.889 Billion
(Boston, MA)-Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for March totaled $1.889 billion, $87 million or 4.8 percent more than the state took in last March. Higher than expected corporate and business collections offset weak income tax payments and sales tax collections to end the month $30 million above the monthly benchmark based on the revised FY13 revenue estimate of $21.496 billion.
Tax collections since the fiscal year began last July total $15.284 billion, $587 million or 4.0 percent more than a year ago and $363 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
March is the largest collection month of the year for corporate payments because tax returns and extensions for the previous year are due as well as the first quarterly estimated payments for the new tax year.
Corporate and business tax collections of $717 million were $111 million or 18.3 percent higher than a year ago and were $97 million above benchmark. Year-to-date collections total $1.655 billion, up $57 million or 3.6 percent over the same period last year and $170 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
“The increase in corporate and business tax collections reflect that a number of corporations and businesses performed better last year and they expect to do at least as well if not better this year,” Commissioner Pitter said. “While that’s good news, we need to be cautious in our outlook because there is still a great deal of uncertainty in the overall economic picture through the end of the year.”
Income tax collections in March totaled $667 million, $27 million or 3.9 percent less than a year ago and were $64 million below the monthly benchmark, mostly due to a shift in withholding payments from March to February. March income cash estimated payments of $10 million were down $4 million from a year ago. Year-to-date income cash estimated payments totaled $1.392 billion, up $188 million or 15.6 percent from the same period last year and $126 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
Income tax cash refunds continued to play catch up with last year’s collections because of the delay in opening the federal tax filing season. Refunds totaled $307 million in March, up $20 million from last March and $20 million over the monthly benchmark but are still down $55 million from the year-to-date benchmark. Refunds are expected to accelerate in April and May.
Sales tax collections for March totaled $369 million, down $4 million or 1.1 percent from the same period a year ago and $10 million below the March benchmark. Year-to-date collections totaled $3.827 billion, up $58 million or 1.5 percent from the same period last year, but $24 million below anticipated year-to-date collections.