Overview and Resources
DOR is actively monitoring the latest developments and is following guidance from the Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with respect to the coronavirus outbreak.
Filing and payment extensions and penalty relief
Due to the impact of COVID-19, some tax filing deadlines were extended.
Personal Income Tax deadline
Personal income tax returns and payments deadline of April 15, 2020 was extended to July 15, 2020, including for personal income tax, fiduciary income tax and trust income tax, and income tax due with a partnership composite return with an April 15, 2020 due date (personal income taxpayers). Due dates for estate tax returns and payments did not change.
Estimated income and fiduciary tax payment deadlines
Payment due dates for the first and second installments of estimated tax, due April 15, 2020 and June 15, 2020 were extended to July 15, 2020.
Extension of time to file and pay personal income tax
There will be an automatic extension to October 15, 2020 for personal income tax as long as the amount due for a valid personal income tax extension is paid by July 15, 2020.
Corporate Excise Tax penalties waived
Although the deadline for corporate excise payments was April 15, penalties for late-file and late-pay for corporate excise (including financial institution and insurance premiums excise) returns and payments with an original due date of April 15, 2020 were waived if filed and made by July 15, 2020.
Paid Family and Medical Leave and Withholding Tax deadlines
Deadlines for submitting returns and payments for Paid Family and Medical Leave and Withholding Tax did not change.
Additional filing and payment due dates extended for certain taxpayers
May 20, 2021:
Deadline for Filing Returns and Making Payments for Certain Vendors Collecting Room Occupancy Excise and Sales and Use Taxes
The deadline for filing returns and making payments otherwise due March 20, 2020 through April 30, 2021 has now been extended to May 20, 2021. The Department previously extended the deadline to June 20, 2020, and again to September 20, 2020.
Meals, Sales and Use Tax Return Filing and Payment Deadline Extended
As with the prior announcements, the new due date for sales and use tax (including sales tax on meals) returns and payments apply to vendors with cumulative liability for sales and use tax (including local option) under $150,000 in the 12-month period ending February 29, 2020. The extended due date applies to sales, use, and meals taxes collected by eligible vendors in the period beginning March 20, 2020 through April 30, 2021.
Penalty Waiver for Other Meals Tax Vendors
For vendors with cumulative liability for meals taxes of $150,000 or more during the 12-month period ending February 29, 2020, penalties will be waived for late filing and late payment with respect to returns and payments due March 2020 through April 2021. Interest will continue to accrue.
Room Occupancy Excise Return Filing and Payment Deadline Extended for Operators
As with the prior announcements, the new due date for room occupancy returns and payments applies to operators with cumulative liability for room occupancy excise under $150,000 for the 12-month period ending February 29, 2020. The extended due date applies to room occupancy excise (including local option) collected by operators in the period beginning March 20, 2020 through April 30, 2021. The extended due date does not apply to intermediaries.
Penalty Waiver for Other Room Occupancy Vendors
For operators with cumulative liability for room occupancy excise of $150,000 or more during the 12-month period ending February 29, 2020, and all intermediaries, penalties will be waived for late filing and late payment for returns and payments due in March 2020 through April 2021. Interest will continue to accrue.
Tax or debt resolutions
DOR is providing relief several compliance actions to ease the burden on people facing tax issues. Additionally, we are assisting taxpayers by not canceling payment agreements for missing payments. DOR continues to accept Hardship applications.
Taxpayers filing a new appeal, whether pre-assessment or post-assessment, are encouraged to use MassTaxConnect. Choose “file a dispute” after logging in. At this time, Appeals Officers continue to work their cases. Although the Office of Appeals is not currently holding in-person conferences with taxpayers, conferences may be held over the telephone. To the extent they can, taxpayers are encouraged to promptly respond to any outstanding requests for information from the Office of Appeals. Responses through MassTaxConnect or secure e-mail are recommended. If the documents requested are not available at this time, taxpayers are encouraged to contact Appeals Officers to request additional time to respond.
If DOR issues an abatement denial notice (Notice of Abatement Determination), taxpayers who disagree may appeal to the Appellate Tax Board (ATB). Appeals to the ATB must be in writing and a copy of the appeal must be sent to DOR. Sending a copy to DOR helps ensure that collection action is put on hold in a timely manner. You may e-mail your DOR copy to DORCopiesofATBPetitionsFiled@dor.state.ma.us, however, this does not satisfy your requirement to file your appeal with the Appellate Tax Board. With limited or no walk-in service available for the ATB or DOR, sending appeals to the Appellate Tax Board by mail is recommended. The Notice of Abatement Determination has mailing addresses for both the ATB and DOR’s Litigation Bureau and we’ve included them below:
|Appellate Tax Board
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02114
|Commissioner of Revenue
PO Box 9565
Boston, MA 02114-9565
The Department is conducting field audits of businesses by appointment on a limited basis, although most audits are being done through correspondence. Taxpayers are encouraged to exchange information with DOR electronically and are urged to contact the auditor directly to discuss available options. Taxpayers who are unable to obtain the needed documentation due to current circumstances are asked to contact the auditor by e-mail as soon as possible to discuss options for a postponement. Contact information is included in any correspondence from an auditor, or taxpayers can call the Contact Center at 617-887-6367 for help.
Certificates of Good Standing
If you need a certificate of good standing for a small business loan or for any other reason, please follow the instructions on the information page. If you are missing recent tax returns specifically as a result of the recent due date extensions resulting from the COVID-19 emergency, you may not be able to obtain a certificate online. Here are 3 possible alternative options for obtaining a certificate:
Although Litigation Bureau attorneys are not meeting with taxpayers or their representatives in face-to-face meetings, they continue to work to resolve cases and are available to discuss their cases by email and by scheduled telephone calls. The Litigation Bureau also suggests that you consult the websites of the courts and the Appellate Tax Board concerning their respective operations. All orders issued by the trial and appellate courts in response to the pandemic, and information concerning the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, can be found online.
How to communicate with DOR
You can call the appropriate contact center at the following numbers:
- Tax questions: (617) 887-6367 or (800) 392-6089 (toll-free in Massachusetts)
- Child support questions: (617) 660-1234 or (800) 332-2733
Tax: To submit general questions, comments and suggestions, please choose one of the following topics:
- Annual Certification of Entity Tax Status (Corporations Book)
- Business/Trustee Tax
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Corporate Excise
- Identity Theft Information
- Personal Income Tax
- Secure Tax Questions
If you have specific questions about your tax account, please log in to DOR’s secure site, MassTaxConnect and send us an email message. If you are not currently registered with DOR, choose “Register a new taxpayer” under “Quick Links.”
Please do not communicate with us on paper until further notice. The essential staff currently in the office may not have the chance to open correspondence for some time.
The best way to get information to DOR when it’s requested is to upload it through MassTaxConnect. It’s fast, it’s easy and no account is required. If you need help submitting your documents, call us.
If you are making payments, please consider making them electronically through MassTaxConnect, rather than on a paper check. Please check back for new deadlines for payments.
Individuals: If you are not registered with MassTaxConnect yet, choose “Create my username” under Logon and follow the prompts.
Businesses: If you are not registered with MassTaxConnect yet, choose “Register a new taxpayer” under Quick Links and follow the prompts.
Individuals and businesses will find links at the top of the MassTaxConnect homepage for both FAQs and how-to videos about MassTaxConnect.
Child Support: You can send CSE a secure email by visiting CSE’s website and clicking on “Login to your Case Manager account” under the Online section.
For urgent municipal finance and regulatory compliance questions, please email the Division of Local Services at COVID19DLS@dor.state.ma.us.
We highly recommend that taxpayers who are owed a refund file as soon as possible. Taxpayers should file electronically and request direct deposit for the quickest way to get a refund.
- To make tax payments, check on your refund, and more, visit MassTaxConnect.
- To access your child support account, visit the CSE Case Manager. (Visit the CSE website for additional ways to make child support payments.)
We apologize for any inconvenience. Please use the online self-service options.
DOR recognizes that our customers may need assistance with various tax, child support, and municipal obligations due to the impact of the coronavirus. We are here to help and taxpayers are advised of the following support tools and measures during this public health emergency:
- In many instances, taxpayers automatically receive at least six extra months to file their tax returns, as long as they satisfy certain tax payment requirements. See AP 604: Extensions of Time to File Tax Returns.
- DOR may also waive penalties under certain circumstances if a taxpayer is late in paying their tax obligation and will work with impacted taxpayers to waive such penalties. See AP 633: Guidelines for the Waiver and Abatement of Penalties.
- In the event mail service is delayed, you can ensure that returns, payments and refunds are received if you elect to submit them or receive them by electronic means.
- The Probate Court is closed. The Child Support team is continuing to work with the Probate Court to develop a plan to handle child support cases.
- Get important updates from DOR as they happen. Just sign up with your email.
Division of Local Services
Telephone services have been temporarily suspended. Local officials and those working on behalf of municipalities should consult with your local counsel for legal advice.
For urgent municipal finance and regulatory compliance questions, please email us at COVID19DLS@dor.state.ma.us. Before submitting questions, please check the DLS website and review our DLS Alerts notifications for the most up-to-date information.
Child Support Enforcement
As a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency, all child support in-person offices are closed until further notice. If you need child support assistance, you can:
- Call CSE with questions at (617) 660-1234 or (800) 332-2733.
- You can send us a secure email, see specific information about your case, or update your information by visiting CSE’s website and clicking on “Login to your Case Manager account” under the Online section. (If you don’t already have an account, you will be able to create one.)
- Please update your email address email address and phone number(s) if they are not current to help us reach you quicker.
- Contact CSE by sending an email with a general question. To send us an email, click on the “Email us” link in the Contact Us section.
- Call our Interactive Voice Response Phone System at 1-800-332-2733 and follow the prompts to get automated information that is available 24/7.
- Visit CSE’s website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I still get my child support payments? Yes. Child support payments are still being processed. There may be some delay if you are still receiving paper checks by mail. We recommend that you sign up for direct deposit or a debit card whenever possible. You can do this by calling (617) 660-1234 or (800) 332-2733 or online using the Case Manager.
What if my financial situation changed and I am unable to afford my child support? Contact us by phone at (617) 660-1234 or (800) 332-2733 or email. To email us, please click on the “Email us” link in the Contact Us section. We will work together with you to find the best solution for your situation.
What if I had a court hearing scheduled? DOR is in the process of scheduling a limited amount of virtual court hearings each week. If you receive notice of a scheduled hearing, please follow the instructions provided in the notification. If you are unable to join the hearing virtually, or have other concerns, please call the number provided on the notice or CSE’s Customer Service Bureau at 1-800-332-2733.
How can I apply for services? Go to our website for information on how to apply online or by mail.
How can I make a payment? Go to our website for information on how to make payments by mail, online or over the phone.
Federal Stimulus Payments
Federal stimulus payments will be subject to intercept for past-due child support.
Visit Child Support FAQs About the Intercept of Economic Impact Payments to learn more.
For the latest CSE and COVID-19 updates, please visit CSE’s website. Daily Alerts and Notices will be highlighted at the top of the page.
Are masks taxable?
Yes, the purchase of a mask is taxable. DOR put together a blog to answer the question. Established businesses already know how to collect and pay sales tax and likely know that they need to charge sales tax on face mask transactions. New businesses cropping up in response to the need may not know. New businesses can find some useful startup information and specifics on sales and use tax on the website.