The Collections Process begins with an assessment. An assessment might be initiated by the Department of Revenue (DOR) after:
- An audit or
- A failure to file.
An assessment may be the result of a tax return filed by the taxpayer. This is called a self-assessment.
A Notice of Assessment (NOA) is sent to a taxpayer with instructions regarding:
- Taxpayer rights
- Appeal options.
A NOA gives a 30-day window to pay the amount due in full or appeal the assessment. A NOA may contain statutorily allowed penalties and interest.
A Statement of Account (SOA) will be issued if you:
- Don't appeal the assessment or
- Don't pay the amount due on the NOA.
If you have appealed the assessment, you won’t receive any further notice until the appeal process has been completed.
DOR will begin the use of enforcement actions once:
- A SOA has been issued and
- 60 days have elapsed from the date of your assessment.
Enforcement may include the following:
- Bank levy
- Wage levy
- Lien, or referral to our Collections Bureau
- Offset refunds
- Intercepting of State and/or Federal Refunds and other Government payments
- Intercepting of Insurance proceeds, Lottery winnings, casino winnings, and sports wagering winnings and other intercepts through the Comptroller’s Office
- Suspension/Revocation of Driver’s License and/or vehicle registrations
- Suspension/Revocation/Non-Renewal of Professional License or Certificate
- Addition to the Public Disclosure List of Delinquent Taxpayers
- Seizure of business and other assets
- Referral to an outside collection agency
Disputing an Assessment
If you believe your bill is incorrect and wish to dispute the assessment, you may amend your tax return or request an abatement of tax.
You may request an abatement online with MassTaxConnect if you’re disputing the assessment, you aren't required to pay. However, to avoid additional interest and penalty charge, you can choose to pay.
Taxpayer’s should go to MassTaxConnect (MTC), where you can register to manage your account online.
You will be able to see information regarding:
- Your rights as a taxpayer
- Bills and notices
- How to make a payment, and more.
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding DOR Collections
- Guide to the Department of Revenue: Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights
You may also call 617-887-6400 for additional information.