For Immediate Release - June 05, 2017

May Revenue Collections Total $1.92 Billion

May revenues are $30M above monthly benchmark, $439M below YTD benchmark

(Boston, MA) – Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan today announced that preliminary revenue collections for May totaled $1.922 billion, which is $30 million or 1.6% above the monthly benchmark, and $57 million or 3.1% more than the actual collections in May 2016.

For the fiscal year-to-date through May, revenue collections totaled $22.906 billion, a $274 million increase over actual previous year collections in the same period or 1.2%, and $439 million, or 1.9%, below the year-to-date benchmark for Fiscal Year 2017.

“We continue to see steady year-to-date growth in revenues from income withholding, a sign of a healthy economy,” said Commissioner Heffernan. “This tax filing season, we processed a higher-than-anticipated number of individual returns into the first week of May, resulting in additional revenue collections during the early part of the month. As a result, May monthly revenues were moderately ahead of expectations, and we continue to experience modest actual growth over the previous fiscal year. The longer-term trend for Fiscal Year 2017 revenues coming in below annual projections has not changed.”

  • May 2017 revenues were $1.922 billion, which is $30 million or 1.6% above the monthly benchmark.
  • Income tax collections were $1.149 billion, $35 million or 3.2% above the monthly benchmark.
  • Withholding was $954 million for the month, $39 million or 4.0% below the monthly benchmark.
  • Sales and use tax collections were $528 million, which is $20 million or 4.0% above the monthly benchmark.
  • Corporate and business tax collections were $44 million, meeting the monthly benchmark.
  • Other taxes, which include motor fuels, cigarette, estate, and other categories, were $201 million, which is $26 million or 11.3% below the monthly benchmark.
  • Historically, May is a mid-size month for collections, ranking seventh of twelve months in each of the last five years. May is not a significant month for estimated payments from individuals or businesses.
  • Income tax collections for May were $1.149 billion, $35 million or 3.2% above the monthly benchmark and $123 million or 12.0% more than May 2016. For the fiscal year-to-date, income tax collections of $13.255 billion were $303 million or 2.2% below benchmark, and $206 million or 1.6% above the same period in 2016.
  • Withholding was $954 million for the month, $39 million or 4.0% below the benchmark and $44 million more than last year. For the fiscal year-to-date, withholding was $10.975 billion, $43 million or 0.4% below benchmark and $439 million or 4.2% ahead of 2016.
  • Estimated payments totaled $27 million, $2 million or 7.8% more than the monthly benchmark and $4 million more than May 2016. For the fiscal year-to-date, estimated payments of $1.905 billion were $69 million or 3.5% below benchmark and $122 million less than the same period last year.
  • Payments with returns and bills for May totaled $275 million, which is $87 million or 46.0% more than the monthly benchmark, and $93 million more than May 2016. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, collections of $1.862 billion were $243 million or 11.5% less than benchmark and $118 million or 5.9% less than the prior year.  Tax season processing extends into May each year; in the current cycle, more payments were processed in early May rather than late April compared with last year.
  • Refunds were $107 million for the month of May, which is $14 million more than benchmark, creating an unfavorable variance of 15.3%. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, refunds were $1.488 billion, which is $53 million or 3.4% favorable to the benchmark. 
  • Sales and use tax collections for May totaled $528 million, which is $20 million or 4.0% above the monthly benchmark and $22 million or 4.3% above the month of May 2016. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, sales and use tax collections of $5.637 billion are $17 million or 0.3% below benchmark and $115 million or 2.1% greater than 2016.
  • Breaking down sales and use tax collections for the fiscal year-to-date period:    Regular Sales were $3.882 billion, which is $11 million or 0.3% above benchmark. Meals collections were $1.007 billion, which is $1 million below benchmark. Vehicles collections were $748 million, which is $27 million or 3.5% below benchmark.
  • Corporate and business tax collections for the month were $44 million, which is at benchmark and $72 million less than May 2016. Year-to-date business collections are $2.012 billion, which is $32 million or 1.5% below benchmark, and $1 million or 0.05% above 2016.
  • All other tax collections for May totaled $201 million, $26 million below the monthly benchmark and $16 million less than May 2016. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, other taxes are $2.003 billion, which is $88 million or 4.2% below benchmark and $49 million or 2.4% below last year.

May 2017 Tax Collection Summary (in $ millions) Preliminary as of June 5, 2017  pdf format of May 2017 Tax Collection Summary