For Immediate Release - March 03, 2017

February Revenue Collections Total $1.177 Billion

Monthly revenues $117M below monthly and $134M below year-to-date benchmark

(Boston, MA) – Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan today announced that preliminary revenue collections for February totaled $1.177 billion, which is $117 million or 9.1% below the benchmark. For the fiscal year to date, revenues of $15.855 billion are below benchmark by $134 million or 0.8%, and above prior year by $305 million or 2.0%. February is historically the lowest collection month of the year.

“Revenues for the month of February were below expectations,” said Commissioner Heffernan. “While we maintain a cautious outlook, the remaining four months of the fiscal year have historically delivered nearly 40% of total annual revenues. The March-through-June period includes both the bulk of the individual income tax filing season and important estimated payments. This period will determine how closely we trend to the full-year benchmark. We will be monitoring trends closely.”

  • February 2017 revenues were $1.177 billion, which is $117 million or 9.1% below the monthly benchmark. 
  • Income tax collections were $531 million, $77 million or 12.7% below the monthly benchmark. 
  • Sales and use tax collections were $443 million, which is $4 million or 0.9% below the monthly benchmark. 
  • Corporate and business tax collections were $24 million, $38 million below the monthly benchmark. Because February has a small base of business tax collections, this generated a high percentage variance of 61.0% below benchmark. 
  • Other taxes, which include motor fuels, cigarette, estate, and other categories, were $179 million, which is $2 million or 1.1% above the monthly benchmark.
  • Income tax collections for February were $531 million, $77 million or 12.7% below the monthly benchmark and $72 million less than February 2016. For the fiscal year-to-date, collections of $9.151 billion were $47 million or 0.5% below benchmark, and $176 million or 2.0% above the same period in 2016.
  • Withholding was $938 million for the month, $61 million or 6.1% below the benchmark and $51 million less than last year. For the fiscal year-to-date, withholding was $7.926 billion, $42 million or 0.5% below benchmark and $304 million or 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2016.
  • Estimated payments totaled $15 million, $10 million or 39.4% less than the monthly benchmark and $8 million less than February 2016. For the fiscal year-to-date,estimated payments of $1.625 billion were $23 million or 1.4% below benchmark and $104 million less than the same period last year.
  • Payments with returns and bills for February totaled $31 million, which is $14 million or 30.7% less than the monthly benchmark, and $11 million less than February 2016. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, collections of $336 million were $17 million or 4.8% less than benchmark and $15 million or 4.2% less than the same period in fiscal year 2016.
  • Note: February is a low month for both estimated payments and payments with returns. As a result, a moderate swing in dollars causes a large percentage variance. Both categories will have more significant flows in the March – June timeframe.
  • Refunds were $453 million for the month of February, which is $8 million less than benchmark, creating a favorable variance of 1.7%. On a fiscal year-to-date basis,refunds were $735 million, which is $34 million or 4.5% favorable to the benchmark. Comparing the 2017 figures to prior year, refunds in the month of February were $2 million or 0.3% greater than February 2016, and for the fiscal year-to-date period were $9 million or 1.3% greater than the same period in fiscal year 2016.
  • Sales and use tax collections for February totaled $443 million, which is $4 million or 0.9% below the monthly benchmark but $5 million or 1.1% above the month of February 2016. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, sales and use tax collections of $4.161 billion were $17 million or 0.4% below benchmark but $97 million or 2.4% greater than the same period in fiscal year 2016.
  • Breaking down sales and use tax collections for the fiscal year-to-date period: Regular Sales were $2.889 billion, $18 million or 0.6% above benchmark.Meals collections were $752 million, $2 million or 0.3% above benchmark. Motor vehicles collections were $520 million, $37 million or 6.7% below benchmark.
  • February is not a major month for corporate and business tax collections. Monthly revenues were $24 million, $38 million below benchmark and $35 million below February 2016. Year-to-date collections were $1.061 billion, $39 million or 3.5% below benchmark, and $40 million or 4.0% above the same period in fiscal year 2016.
  • All other tax collections for February totaled $179 million, $2 million above the monthly benchmark and up $6 million over last February. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, other taxes are $1.481 billion, which is $31 million or 2.0% below benchmark and $8 million or 0.5% below last year.

February 2017 Tax Collection Summary (in $ millions) Preliminary as of March 3, 2017  pdf format of February 2017 Tax Collection Summary (in $ millions)