Individuals and families pay a variety of local, state and federal taxes to fund government services.

Image in the shape of Massachusetts

Personal income tax

Massachusetts taxes most income at a rate of 5.25%, while certain capital gains are taxed at a rate of 12%. You are required to file a tax return if you are a full- or part-year resident whose Massachusetts gross income exceeds $8,000 during the taxable year, or if you are a nonresident whose gross Massachusetts source income exceeds either $8,000 or their prorated personal exemption, whichever is less.

Real estate taxes

Local governments fund most of their budgets with revenues from taxes on real estate. Proposition 2 1/2 pdf format of    Levy Limits: A Primer on Proposition 2 1/2  , enacted in 1980, imposed a levy limit and levy ceiling for each town. The Department of Revenue provides forms and brochures for local real estate taxpayers. Consult your city or town directly for information about local real estate taxes.

Household employment tax

Household work is work done in or around your home by baby-sitters, nannies, health aides, private nurses, maids, caretakers, yard workers and similar domestic workers. A household worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but also how it is done. If the worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is full-time or part-time, or if you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency. It also does not matter whether you pay the worker on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, or by the job.

Estate tax

The estate tax is a transfer tax on the value of the decedent’s estate before distribution to any beneficiary.

Personal property

Personal property generally includes tangible items that are not firmly attached to land or buildings and are not specially designed for or of such a size and bulk to be considered part of the real estate. This includes merchandise, furnishings and effects, machinery, tools, animals and equipment. Such personal property is taxable unless a specific exemption provision applies. The primary exemption for individuals is for household furnishings and effects at the person's domicile - the place he or she calls home.

Map of Massachusetts showing city/town borders

Motor vehicle excise tax

Every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth is subject to the motor vehicle excise unless expressly exempted. The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares excise tax bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration. An excise in the amount of $25 per thousand is assessed upon the value of the vehicle as determined in accordance with the depreciation schedule. They are sent to city or town assessors who send them to the local tax collectors for payment collection.

Turnpike fuels excise refund

Under Massachusetts General Laws, motorists and commercial motor carriers who consume fuel while traveling on the Massachusetts Turnpike generally are entitled to a reimbursement of any Massachusetts fuels excise paid that corresponds to actual Turnpike use.

Sales & use tax

The sales tax is 6.25 percent of the sale or rental of tangible personal property or certain telecommunications services. The buyer generally pays the tax to the vendor at the time of purchase; the vendor then remits the tax to the state. However, the buyer pays the sales tax directly to the state for motor vehicle and trailer sales.

The use tax is a 6.25 percent tax paid on out-of-state or out-of-country purchases (including mail order items or items purchased over the Internet) that are used, stored or consumed in state and on which no state sales/use tax was paid. Unlike the sales tax, use tax is paid directly to the state by the purchaser. Massachusetts exempts a number of items from the sales and use tax - food products, clothing costing $175 or less, periodicals, ticket sales, and utilities and heating fuel.

Meals tax

Massachusetts imposes a sales tax on meals sold by or purchased from restaurants or any part of a store considered by Massachusetts law to be a restaurant. The tax is 6.25 percent of the sales price of the meal. Generally, a food product commonly thought of as a grocery item is exempt from the sales tax on meals.