For Immediate Release - December 03, 2014

November Revenue Collections Total $1.593 Billion

Final threshold has been met to lower income tax rate

(Boston, MA)-Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for November totaled $1.593 billion, $23 million or 1.5 percent more than the state took in last November. Strong performance in withholding collections and better than expected individual estimated tax payments were offset by greater than expected individual refunds, lower than expected sales taxes, lower than expected corporate and business taxes and lower than expected income tax payments with bills and returns to close out the month $9 million below the monthly benchmark based on the FY15 revenue estimate of $24.387 billion.

Year-to-date tax collections totaled $8.901 billion, $233 million or 2.7 percent more than this time last year. Excluding the $13.5 million in one-time tax settlements received year-to-date, tax collections totaled $8.888 billion year-to-date, $43 million below the year-to-date benchmark.

In addition, the Department of Revenue certified that revenue growth has met the final threshold needed to lower the personal income tax rate from 5.20 percent to 5.15 percent beginning January 1, 2015. As a result, revenue collections for the remainder of the fiscal year will drop by an estimated $70 million.

“November collections came in slightly above last year at this time but below what we anticipated largely due to below-benchmark performance in most categories.” said Commissioner Pitter. “With individual refunds down in October, we anticipated there would be a shift into November and refunds did increase considerably over benchmark. Strong performance in withholding collections and income tax estimated payments could not offset more than expected refunds and less than expected collections in sales and corporate and business taxes.”

Total income tax collections for November were $930 million, $3 million or 0.4 percent below last November and about the same as the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date income tax collections totaled $5.012 billion, $186 million or 3.9 percent over this time last year and $49 million over the year-to-date benchmark.

November withholding collections totaled $927 million, $22 million or 2.4 percent more than last November and $38 million above the monthly benchmark. So far this fiscal year, withholding collections are $4.328 billion, $185 million or 4.5 percent over the same period last year and $53 million over the year-to-date benchmark.

Estimated income tax payments brought in $23 million for the month, $6 million or 33.6 percent more than last November and $5 million over the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date estimated income tax collections totaled $637 million, $54 million or 9.3 percent over last year at this time and $33 million over the year-to-date benchmark.

Income tax payments with returns or bills brought in $37 million for the month, $4 million or 10.8 percent less than last November and $16 million below the November benchmark. Year-to-date income tax payments with returns or bills totaled $245 million, $63 million or 20.3 percent less than last year at this time and $47 million below the year-to-date benchmark.

Income tax refunds totaled $57 million for the month, $26 million or 87.8 percent more than last November and $26 million above the November benchmark. Year-to-date income tax refunds totaled $196 million, $11 million or 5.5 percent less than last year at this time and $11 million below the year-to-date benchmark.

Sales and use tax collections for November totaled $462 million, up $25 million or 5.6 percent from last November and $4.3 million below the monthly benchmark. Collections through the first five months of the fiscal year totaled $2,420 billion, $119 million or 5.2 percent over the same period last year and $32 million below the year-to-date benchmark.

Corporate and business tax collections for November were $19 million, $8 million or 29.1 percent less than last November and $6 million below the monthly benchmark. Excluding the $13.5 million in one-time tax settlement payments, year-to-date corporate and business tax collections totaled $564 million, $99 million or 15.0 percent less than the same period last year and $59 million below the year-to-date benchmark.

Preliminary tax amnesty collections, which are largely reflected in income and sales tax revenues, totaled approximately $57 million through the end of November with about sixty-one thousand taxpayers participating to date. The two-month tax amnesty period closed on October 31, however, processing will continue until all payments are validated. A final report will be released when processing is completed.

November 2014 Tax Collection Summary (preliminary as of December 3, 2014)  pdf format of November 2014 Tax Collection Summary

FY2015 Year-to-Date Tax Revenue Through November 30, 2014  pdf format of FY2015 Year-to-Date Tax Revenue Through November 30, 20