For Immediate Release - April 05, 2017

March Revenue Collections Total $2.28 Billion

March revenues $81M below monthly benchmark, $220M below YTD benchmark

(Boston, MA) – Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan today announced that preliminary revenue collections for March totaled $2.28 billion, which is $81 million or 3.4% below the monthly benchmark. For the fiscal year to date through the end of March, revenue collections are $18.130 billion, above actual previous year collections by $309 million or 1.7%, but below year-to-date benchmark by $220 million or 1.2%. 

“Monthly and year-to-date revenues remain below projections,” said Commissioner Heffernan. “April, May, and June contribute roughly 30% of the Commonwealth’s tax collections for the year, with April alone responsible for about 12% of the total annual tax collections. We will carefully monitor these final few months.”

  • March 2017 revenues were $2.28 billion, which is $81 million or 3.4% below the monthly benchmark. 
  • Income tax collections were $889 million, $10 million or 1.1% below the monthly benchmark. 
  • Sales and use tax collections were $451 million, which is $10 million or 2.1% below the monthly benchmark. 
  • Corporate and business tax collections were $781 million, $48 million or 5.8% below the monthly benchmark. 
  • Other taxes, which include motor fuels, cigarette, estate, and other categories, were $159 million, which is $13 million or 7.5% below the monthly benchmark.
  • March is a mid-size month from a revenue perspective, usually ranking #6 of the 12 months of the year, with roughly 9% of annual revenues.
  • Income tax collections for March were $889 million, $10 million or 1.1% below the monthly benchmark and $39 million more than March 2016. For the fiscal year-to-date, income tax collections of $10.036 billion were $61 million or 0.6% below benchmark, and $211 million or 2.1% above the same period in 2016.
  • Withholding was $1.133 billion for the month, $7 million or 0.6% above the benchmark and $56 million more than last year. For the fiscal year-to-date, withholding was $9.059 billion, $35 million or 0.4% below benchmark and $360 million or 4.1% ahead of 2016.
  • Estimated payments totaled $21 million, $4 million or 17.3% less than the monthly benchmark and $3 million less than March 2016. For the fiscal year-to-date, estimated payments of $1.645 billion were $27 million or 1.6% below benchmark and $107 million less than the same period last year.
  • Payments with returns and bills for March totaled $69 million, which is $23 million or 25.3% less than the monthly benchmark, and $17 million less than March 2016. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, collections of $400 million were $46 million or 10.4% less than benchmark and $37 million or 8.6% less than prior year.
  • Refunds were $334 million for the month of March, which is $11 million less than benchmark, creating a favorable variance of 3.3%. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, refunds were $1.067 billion, which is $48 million or 4.3% favorable to the benchmark.Comparing the 2017 figures to prior year, refunds in the month of March were $3 million or 0.8% less than March 2016, and for the fiscal year-to-date period were $4 million or 0.4% greater than the prior fiscal year.
  • Sales and use tax collections for March totaled $451 million, which is $10 million or 2.1% below the monthly benchmark and $3 million or 0.7% over the month of March 2016. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, sales and use tax collections of $4.613 billion were $26 million or 0.6% below benchmark and $101 million or 2.2% greater than 2016.
  • Breaking down sales and use tax collections for the fiscal year-to-date period: Regular Sales were $3.185 billion, which is $8 million or 0.3% above benchmark.Meals collections were $828 million, which is at benchmark. Vehicles collections were $599 million, which is $34 million or 5.3% below benchmark.
  • Corporate and business tax collections for the month were $781 million, which is $48 million below benchmark and $27 million below March 2016. Year-to-date business collections are $1.847 billion, which is $83 million or 4.3% below benchmark, and $18 million or 1.0% above 2016.
  • All other tax collections for March totaled $159 million, $13 million below the monthly benchmark and down $7 million over last March. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, other taxes are $1.634 billion, which is $50 million or 3.0% below benchmark and $22 million or 1.3% below last year.

March 2017 Tax Collection Summary (in $ millions) Preliminary as of April 5, 2017  pdf format of March 2017 Tax Collection Summary (in $ millions)4/5/17