Administrative Procedure

Administrative Procedure AP 616: Registration Information - Sales Tax, Meals Tax, Room Occupancy Excise, Withholding Tax

Date: 02/09/2021
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Table of Contents

616.1. When Registration is Required

A business is required to register with DOR to collect withholding tax, sales/use tax, sales tax on meals (meals tax), room occupancy excise, or marijuana retail taxes if it:

has people working for it in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 62B);
has a business location in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H);
sells taxable telecommunications services in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H);
sells or rents taxable items in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H, 830 CMR 64H.1.7);
serves meals and/or alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 64H);
provides lodgings in Massachusetts subject to the room occupancy excise (G.L. c. 64G);
is a marijuana establishment licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission to purchase, deliver, sell, or otherwise transfer marijuana to consumers  (G.L. c. 64N)
is an assignee of lottery winnings subject to withholding (G.L. c. 10 and G.L. c. 62B);
withholds from a pension plan, annuity or retirement distribution (G.L. c. 62B);
withholds from payments to performers or performing entities (G.L. c. 62B); or
withholds, as a pass-through entity, from distributive share allocated to members (G.L. c. 62B).

Taxpayers must register with DOR to collect taxes before the business actually opens. See G.L. c. 64G, § 6 and G.L. c. 64H, § 7.

616.2. Original Registration

MassTaxConnect, an online application, must be used by business operators, professionals, and organizations to register with the Department to collect withholding, sales and use, telecommunications services, meals, room occupancy taxes, and marijuana retail taxes, and pass-through entity withholding taxes. MassTaxConnect is also used to register as a use tax purchaser, a chapter 180 organization selling alcoholic beverages, or as a tax‑exempt purchaser. Additionally, MassTaxConnect is used to register to collect any of the Convention Center Financing surcharges, the Revere Vehicular Rental surcharge, the Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Excise, and Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Once your registration is processed, a MassTaxConnect account will be established for you to electronically file and pay your tax obligations via our website.

DOR will send a registration certificate to businesses registered to collect the sales, meals or rooms taxes. Certificates must be displayed at the location at which the tax is being collected. See 830 CMR 62C.67.1 for more information concerning proper display of certificate.

616.3. Filing Requirements

Registered businesses have a requirement to file tax returns with DOR. The Guide to Withholding of Taxes on Wages, Guide to Withholding of Taxes on Performers and Performing Entities, Guide to Sales and Use Tax, and Guide to Sales Tax on Meals contain information on that requirement. These guides explain whether a business must file and pay on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis. A tax return must be filed even if no tax is due.

G.L. c. 62C, § 5 authorizes the Commissioner of Revenue to specify the method of filing tax returns and other documents. New businesses must file and pay withholding taxes, sales/use tax (including sales taxes on meals and telecommunications services) and room occupancy excise taxes electronically even if no tax is due. Existing businesses with combined annual liabilities of $5,000 or more are required to file returns and to make payments electronically. See TIR 21-9 for more details.

616.4. Registration for Additional Locations or Additional Taxes

MassTaxConnect must be used to register additional locations and to register a location for a tax that it was not originally registered to collect.

DOR will send registration certificates to businesses registered to collect the sales, meals, marijuana retail, or rooms taxes. Certificates must be displayed at each location at which the tax is being collected. See 830 CMR 62C.67.1 for more information.

616.5. Correspondence, Change of Information or Organization

Businesses required to electronically file or pay should use MassTaxConnect to request such changes. Businesses needing to change an address or other information with DOR should use MassTaxConnect.

Businesses that change their type of legal organization, e.g., from a sole proprietorship to a partnership, must cancel their original registration with DOR (see 616.6 below) and re‑register under the new organization type using MassTaxConnect.

Businesses needing to correspond with DOR for other reasons should not send correspondence with a tax return but should send a letter to Mass. DOR, Contact Center, P.O. Box 7010, Boston, MA 02204. The letter should include the following identifying information:

legal name;
business name (if different from legal name);
federal i.d. number or social security number;
filing frequency: monthly, quarterly or annual; and
which taxes the business is registered to collect.

616.6. Cancellation of Registration

Businesses required to electronically file or pay may use their MassTaxConnect account to close a location or cancel a tax registration.

Alternatively, a business wishing to cancel a registration may, when filing its regular annual, monthly or quarterly return, check the box on the form indicating that the return is final. The taxpayer may also file Form AI-1, Change of Address/Information.

The Commissioner may revoke a sales/use tax registration where it is found that the registration was obtained in bad faith by a vendor without nexus registering solely for the purpose of avoiding tax on drop-shipments.

For more information on registration, write to Massachusetts DOR, P.O. Box 7010, Boston, MA 02204 or call (617) 887-MDOR or toll-free within Massachusetts at 1 (800) 392-6089.

DOR hosts Small Business Workshops for people starting new businesses. See AP 601.1.2, Community Outreach Programs, for more information.



G.L. c. 10
G.L. c. 62B
G.L. c. 62C,
§§ 5, 67
G.L. c. 64G,
§ 6
G.L. c. 64H,
§ 7
830 CMR 62C.67.1
830 CMR 64H.1.9
TIR 10-18
TIR 21-9
AP 601, Assistance, Service, Obtaining Information
Form AI-1, Change of Address/Information

Referenced Sources:

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