The purpose of this guide is to provide general information about Massachusetts tax laws and Department of Revenue policies and procedures. It is not designed to address all questions which may arise nor to address complex issues in detail. Nothing contained herein supersedes, alters or otherwise changes any provision of the Massachusetts General Laws, Massachusetts Department of Revenue Regulations, Department rulings or any other sources of the law.
A deduction is allowed for the total amount paid to a former spouse during the taxable year for alimony or separate maintenance under a court decree.
Child Support Payments do not qualify as an alimony deduction; amounts are not deductible by the payer and are not included in Massachusetts gross income by the recipient.
Business Related Deductions
Child and Dependent Related Deductions
A deduction is allowed for amounts paid to care for a qualifying child, or a disabled dependent or spouse so that a taxpayer may work or look for work. Massachusetts bases its child care expense deduction on the amount of qualifying expenses used to compute the federal child care credit under I.R.C. § 21.
Claim of Right Deduction
Taxpayers who have paid Massachusetts personal income taxes in a prior year on income attributed to them under a "claim of right" may deduct such amounts of that income from their gross income if it is later determined that they: 1.) were not in fact entitled to the income, and 2.) have repaid the amounts in question.
You can deduct certain commuting costs against your Form 1 or 1-NR/PY income for:
- Tolls paid through an E-ZPass MA account or
- The cost of weekly or monthly passes for:
- MBTA transit
- Commuter rail or
- Commuter boat.
Education Related Deductions
Employee Business Expenses
Compensation, Injury and Sickness Benefits
Losses from Criminally Fraudulent Investment Arrangements
Fraudulent arrangements often take the form of so-called "Ponzi" schemes, in which the party perpetrating the fraud receives cash or property from investors, purports to earn income for the investors, and reports to the investors income amounts that are wholly or partially fictitious.
Medical Related Deductions
Employees or self-employed individuals may deduct the expense of moving themselves and their families provided the move relates to employment or business income that is subject to Massachusetts tax.
Miscellaneous income tax deductions
Out-of-State Employee Contributory Government Pension
Individuals who move into Massachusetts and receive pension distributions from their former states' public employee retirement plans may deduct such amounts from Massachusetts gross income if the former state does not tax income received by its residents from Massachusetts contributory public employee retirement plans.