Avoid Massachusetts Income Tax Refund Delays

E-filing is the fastest way to get a refund. Learn why your state income tax refund may be delayed.

Updated: July 31, 2023

Table of Contents

E-file and Pay Your MA Personal Income Taxes

E-filing is the fastest way to file your Massachusetts personal income tax return and get your refund from DOR. Learn what e-filing and payment options are available and what you will need.

Reasons Why There's a Delay

In some cases, your refund may be delayed because you:

  • Added a wrong Social Security number
  • Included the wrong banking information (routing and account numbers)
  • Made a typo, like a spelling mistake
  • Made a math mistake
  • Submitted a return with more than one filing status
  • Amended your return
  • Included the incorrect number of dependents
  • Filed too early.

In other cases, a delay may be because:

  • DOR asked you to verify or provide more information on your return.
  • Your return was missing information or was incomplete.
  • Your refund (or part of it) was intercepted to pay an existing tax or child support liability.

Paper is Slower & Leads to Mistakes

Filing on paper is the slowest way to file your state income tax. Also, delays happen more often with paper returns.

If you file on paper, remember to:

1)  Include all schedules, such as Schedule HC

If you don’t include all the schedules, your return can’t be processed, and your refund will be delayed.

The Schedule HC must be completed and enclosed for all resident returns and most part-year resident returns. Nonresidents are not subject to the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law. 

If you amend your return, include all the schedules filed with the original return, even if you did not make any changes to those schedules.

2)  Check your math

When you add or subtract, check your numbers. If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, make sure the credit amount is correct. Follow each instruction carefully.

3)  Don’t use staples or paper clips

Put checks and other documents inside an envelope. Do not use staples or paper clips. Doing so will slow down the processing of your return.

4)  Recheck your bank numbers

You can have your refund deposited directly into your savings or checking account. Be sure to enter the correct routing and account numbers on your return.

5)  Sign and date your return

Don’t forget to sign your tax return at the bottom of Page 1. The return is not valid without a signature.

If married and filing jointly, you and your spouse must both sign the return. When you owe taxes and are paying by check, don’t forget to sign the check.


E-file your return to get the fastest tax refund.

If you already filed on paper this year, don't e-file for the same tax year.

Before you contact DOR, you should wait up to 10 weeks to get:

  • Your refund or
  • A request from DOR for more information.

Check Your Tax Refund Status

MassTaxConnect is the fastest way to check the status of your state tax refund. 

You don't need to sign in or register.

To check, visit MassTaxConnect's Check the status of your Personal Income Tax refund.

On MassTaxConnnect, the current Tax Year is filled in. To select a prior-year refund, use the drop-down arrow. 

You need to enter:

  • Your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Refund Amount.

Do You Need to Register with MassTaxConnect

You will already be in DOR's system if you (or a third party on your behalf) have previously filed MA taxes such as personal income.

To register, you need to create a MassTaxConnect Logon.

On the upper right-hand side of MassTaxConnect's home screen:

  • Choose Sign Up
MassTaxConnect home page Sign Up link
  • Choose Create My Logon.
MassTaxConnect Create My Logon link
  • Choose I am an individual who has previously filed taxes in MA. 
MassTaxConnect screenshot of I am an individual who has previously filed taxes in MA.

If you can't find tax information to verify who you are when creating your logon, contact  DOR, and request a Notice of Account ID.

  • Finish the remaining instructions.

Refund Timeline

E-filed Return

  • Takes about 4-6 weeks for direct deposit requests 
  • If a paper check was
    requested, add another week.

Paper Return

  • Takes about 8-10 weeks for direct deposit requests 
  • If a paper check was
    requested, add another week.

E-file your return to get the fastest tax refund.

Do You Have Questions?

Tax Department: Contact Center hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

  • (617) 887-6367 or 
  • (800) 392-6089 (toll-free in Massachusetts).

Ask your question through a MassTaxConnect e-message

If registered, log in to your MassTaxConnect account and send DOR a secure e-message. 

  • From the MassTaxConnect Summary page, choose More.
MassTaxConnect register from summary page
  • Choose Messages.
  • Select Manage Messages.
  • Send message. 

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