llene Hoffer, Jason Kauppi
Governor Paul Cellucci and Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift today eliminated six fees charged to businesses by the Department of Revenue, a move expected to reduce paperwork and save stores, restaurants and other retail companies more than $300,000 per year. The directive further reduces the cost of doing business in Massachusetts and adds to an impressive record of keeping money in the hands of taxpayers.
"Striking these fees is another example of how we are making Massachusetts a more business-friendly state," Cellucci said. "These fees are a hold-over from the old ways of doing things in Massachusetts, when nickle-and-diming the taxpayers was a recreational sport."
"Thanks to cutting-edge technologies that have dramatically cut processing costs, there is no good reason to keep the fees and lots of good reasons to abolish them," Swift said. "This will make it a lot easier for taxpayers to deal with the Department of Revenue."
The six fees have been charged by the Department of Revenue for registering businesses that collect sales taxes and for obtaining tax documents. Advances in data processing have reduced costs and the Department of Revenue plans to allow businesses to easily register with the department over the Internet.
The fees eliminated are:
- Sales Tax Registration fee (Required for any business that collects sales tax): $10 per place of business;
- Waiver of Lien (Required for a waiver of any type of tax lien against a taxpayer): $10 per waiver;
- Duplicate copy of Waiver of Lien: $5 per copy;
- Certificate of Good Standing (Taxpayers needing proof of their tax filing and payment history): $10 per certificate;
- Duplicate copy of Certificate of Good Standing: $5 per copy; and
- Hotel Operator Registration Fee (Required for any hotel operator locating a new hotel in the state): $10 per location.
In the last fiscal year, about $235,000 in fees were paid to DOR for sales tax registration, a requirement of any business collecting sales tax for the Commonwealth. Businesses will still be required to register, but they will not have to pay a $10 fee.
"This is also a fairness issue. We are requiring taxpayers to collect sales taxes for the state, and then we hit them up for $10 on top of that, just for the privilege of doing the state's business," said Fred Laskey, DOR commissioner. "We wanted to eliminate this unnecessary burden on taxpayers."
The elimination of fees follows record reductions in workers compensation and unemployment insurance rates, as well as 28 tax cuts worth $2.4 billion to taxpayers.