Massachusetts Department of Revenue Tax Guides

The purpose of these guides is to provide general information about Massachusetts tax laws and Department of Revenue policies and procedures. They are 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.

Updated: January 17, 2024

Table of Contents

Guides for Personal Income Tax

Personal Income Tax for Residents

  • If you were a resident of Massachusetts and your gross income was more than $8,000 — whether received from sources inside or outside of Massachusetts — you are required to file a Massachusetts income tax return. If your gross income was $8,000 or less, you do not need to file a return.

Personal Income Tax for Nonresidents and
Personal Income Tax for Part-Year Residents 

  • You must file a Massachusetts Nonresident/Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return, Massachusetts Form 1-NR/PY, if you were not a resident of Massachusetts and you received Massachusetts source income in excess of your personal exemption multiplied by the ratio of your Massachusetts income to your total income, or you were not a resident of Massachusetts for the full year and your gross income was more than $8,000 — whether received from sources inside or outside of Massachusetts.

Filing status

  • Your filing status on your Massachusetts personal income tax can affect your exemptions and how much you're taxed. See what this means for you.


  • Your filing status on your Massachusetts personal income tax can affect your exemptions and how much you're taxed. See what this means for you.

Guides for Business Tax

Sales and Use Tax

  • This guide has general information about Massachusetts sales and use tax. It describes the tax, what types of transactions are taxable, and what both buyers and sellers must do to comply with the law. This also includes a general listing of items that are exempt from the Massachusetts sales and use tax.

Sales Tax on Meals

  • This guide has general information about the Massachusetts sales tax on meals. This will lead you through the basics of the sales tax on meals by explaining how to register as a vendor with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), as well as how to collect and send this tax to the Commonwealth. The guide also contains examples of situations in which meals are tax-exempt.

Sales and Use Tax on Motor Vehicles

  • If you're a buyer, transferee, or user, who has title to or has a motor vehicle, you're responsible for paying the sales or use tax.

Motor Vehicle Excise

  • When you register your motor vehicle or trailer, you have to pay a motor vehicle and trailer excise. Get the ins and outs on paying the motor vehicle excise tax to your local city or town hall.

Withholding Taxes on Wages

  • If you're an employer, you need to withhold Massachusetts income tax from your employees' wages. This guide will lead you through your responsibilities as an employer, collecting your employee's tax reporting information, calculating withholding, and filing and paying withholding taxes.

Employer Tax Obligations

  • An employer is any person, corporation or organization for whom an individual performs a service as an employee. Topics within these pages range from obtaining workers' compensation insurance to fulfilling employer obligations for state employment security taxes. Other subjects include registering your business with MassTaxConnect and related tax types including withholding of wages.

Household Employers

  • If you're a household employer, there are certain responsibilities, state and federal, that you have when it comes to taxes. This guide will let you know what they are and what to do about them.

Sales Tax Guides by Industry

The following guides provide some general information on tax issues specific to different industries and resources for registering, filing returns and making payments.

Guide to Corporate Excise Tax

Generally, all corporations operating in Massachusetts, both foreign and domestic, need to pay corporate excise tax. This guide has information about corporate excise tax, from calculating the tax, to credits and deductions, to apportioning income.

Go to a Guide to Corporate Excise Tax

Guide to Estate Tax

For estates of decedents dying in 2006 or after, the applicable exclusion amount is $1,000,000. For estates of decedents dying in 2023 or after, the applicable exclusion amount is $2,000,000. Future changes to the federal estate tax law have no impact on the Massachusetts estate tax.

Go to the Massachusetts Estate Tax Guide.

Guide to Property Taxes

For many cities and towns, property taxes are the largest funding source for teachers, police, firefighters, public works like trash pick-up, and many other local resources and services.

Visit a Guide to Massachusetts Property Taxes.

Field Audit Procedural Manual

The information in Department of Revenue’s field audit manual is provided for the guidance of audit staff. However, the Audit Division reserves the right to depart from the standard processes outlined herein when and as it deems such departure to be warranted in the circumstances.

Visit the Field Audit Procedural Manual.

Guide to the Department of Revenue: Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Paying tax shouldn’t be an overly confusing or intimidating experience. Understanding how the system works is every taxpayer's right.

Visit a Guide to the Department of Revenue: Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

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