Massachusetts law about taxation

Laws, regulations, cases, web sources, and print sources on taxation law in general.
  • For specific tax topics, like estate tax, property tax, or small business taxes, see "Related" section, below.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

Electronic filing of income tax returns

IRS Direct File
Free tool to file federal taxes directly with the IRS. Massachusetts residents may need to file a state tax return in addition to the federal tax return; this tool will link to MassTaxConnect at the end to allow users to do so.

Users can file Massachusetts income tax returns, view their payment history, and interact directly with the Mass. Department of Revenue through this secure online portal. For more information, see About MassTaxConnect and General information about using MassTaxConnect.

Tax relief and refunds

One-time tax refunds

IRS issues guidance on state tax payments to help taxpayers, Internal Revenue Service.
Refund of state taxes paid. Most one-time refunds won’t count toward income: "If the payment is a refund of state taxes paid and either the recipient claimed the standard deduction or itemized their deductions but did not receive a tax benefit (for example, because the $10,000 tax deduction limit applied) the payment is not included in income for federal tax purposes."

Massachusetts laws

New: St. 2023, c.50 An act to improve the Commonwealth's competitiveness, affordability, and equity [Tax relief]
See the Senate's summary of this act for more information.

2022 Personal income and corporate excise tax law changes
Here you will find descriptions of major Massachusetts Personal Income (Chapter 62) and Corporate Excise (Chapter 63) tax law changes for tax year 2022.

Article XLIV of the Massachusetts Constitution
Grants power and authority to the General Court to impose and levy a tax on income.

MGL c.58-c.65C Taxation

  • c. 58 General provisions relative to taxation 
  • c. 58A Appellate Tax Board
  • c. 59 Assessment of local taxes
  • c. 60 Collection of local taxes. See also, amended section:
    • § 79 Sale without foreclosure; inquiries (effective April 2, 2023)
  • c. 60A Excise tax on registered motor vehicles
  • c. 60B Excise on boats, ships and vessels
  • c. 61 Classification and taxation of forest lands and forest products
  • c. 61A Assessment and taxation of agricultural and horticultural land
  • c. 61B Classification and taxation of recreational land
  • c. 62 Income tax. See also, amended sections:
  • c. 62F Limitation on the growth of state tax revenues
    See also: Chapter 62F taxpayer refunds
  • c. 63A Taxation of certain corporations, associations and organizations engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages
  • c. 63B Declaration of estimated taxes by corporations
  • c. 63D Taxation of pass-through entities 
  • c. 64A Taxation of sales of gasoline
  • c. 64C Cigarette excise
  • c. 64D Excise on deeds, instruments and writings
  • c. 64E Taxation of special fuels used in the propulsion of motor vehicles
  • c. 64F Taxation of fuel and special fuels acquired outside and used with the commonwealth 
  • c. 64G Room occupancy excise
  • c. 64H Tax on retail sales of certain tangible personal property
  • c. 64I Tax on the storage, use or other consumption of certain tangible personal property
  • c. 64J Taxation on fuels used in the propulsion of aircraft
  • c. 64L Local option meals tax
  • c. 64M Taxation of direct broadcast satellite service
  • c. 64N Marijuana tax
  • c. 65 Taxation of legacies and successions
  • c. 65A Taxation of transfers of certain estates
  • c. 65B Settlement of disputes respecting the domicile of decedents for death tax purposes
  • c. 65C Massachusetts estate tax

Massachusetts regulations

830 CMR Department of Revenue

Selected cases

Citrix Systems, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue, 484 Mass. 87 (2020)
Fees charged for subscriptions to use online software products are subject to Massachusetts sales tax.

South Dakota v. Wayfair, 138 S. Ct. 2080 (2018)
A state can require an out-of-state seller with no physical presence in the state to collect sales taxes on goods the seller ships to consumers in the state.

U.S. Tax Court opinion portal

Find an opinion
Search by keyword, docket number or party name for cases filed on or after May 1, 1986.

Agencies and forms

Web sources

Business personal property tax:

Donating a car to charity, Mass. Attorney General.
Provides "tips to consider when deciding whether to donate your car to charity."

DOR Directive 89-3: Divorce judgment nisi and filing status, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
"Since the material (and tax) status of a divorced or divorcing individual depends on the nature of the judgment of divorce in effect at the close of the tax year, if the judgment nisi is in effect at that time, the taxpayer is married and must file either jointly or as married filing separately. If the judgment nisi has then become absolute, the taxpayer's filing status is 'single'."

Health care reform information, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
Includes information on the tax implications of health care reform, with forms and more, for individuals, employers and insurance carriers.

Legal library, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
Includes TIRs, Directives, Revenue Rulings, Regulations and more.

Personal income tax, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.

Sales tax holiday, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
Frequently asked questions. For 2023 the dates are August 12 and 13.

Sales tax on meals, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
It describes the tax, what types of transactions are taxable, and what a vendor must do to comply with the law.

Tax notes federal tax law library, Tax Analysts.
Includes the current Internal Revenue Code, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, proposed, final and temporary regulations, rules for practicing before the IRS, Treasury decisions, IRS guidance and private rulings, court and legislative documents, and more.

Tax rates, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
"provides a graph of the different tax rates and brackets in Massachusetts."

Trust reformations: Bosch litigation
Procedure for Probate and Family Court. The resolution of these cases is meant to assist the parties in their dealings with the Internal Revenue Service by deciding a matter of state law that will be binding on federal authorities.

Print sources

Contact   for Massachusetts law about taxation

Last updated: March 14, 2024

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