Tips for Filing Massachusetts Personal Income Taxes

Keep up to date with these helpful tips for filing your 2022 Massachusetts personal income tax return.

Updated: January 20, 2023

Table of Contents

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Gather all your tax records and documents

You may need the following:

  • Copies of last year’s federal and state tax returns
  • Personal information including:
    • Legal name(s)
    • Birth date(s)
    • Social Security number(s)
  • Records of your earnings (W-2 forms from each employer or 1099-MISC forms if you’re a contractor)
  • Records of interest and dividends from banks (1099 forms: 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, etc.)
  • Proof of health insurance (1099-HC, 1095-B, etc.)
  • Records of tuition payments and student loan interest paid (1098-T)
  • Records of received Social Security benefits (SSA-1099)
  • Record of received pension or annuity (1099-R)
  • Unemployment compensation statements (1099-G)
  • Total child care expenses and child care provider information, including:
    • Legal name(s)
    • Employer ID
    • Social Security number(s)
  • Total rent paid, as well as landlord or rental agent’s name and address
  • Receipts or canceled checks for items such as:
    • Medical expenses
    • Mortgage interest
    • Charitable contributions if you’re itemizing deductions
  • Bank account and bank routing numbers if having a refund direct deposited.

Note:

Employers, banks, and investment firms have until the end of January to send you records such as W-2 forms and 1099-DIV statements. If you don’t receive your W-2, you should contact your employer.

If you file your taxes before receiving all your employment and income statements, you will have to file an amended return.

E-file this year

If you filed on paper last year, now is a good time to make the change to e-file. Almost 90% of Massachusetts taxpayers e-file.

Why should you e-file?

  1. Refunds are faster
  2. There’s greater accuracy and
  3. It’s a safe way to file your return.

You may be able to file for free if you qualify. Learn more about e-file.

Paper is slower and leads to mistakes

Most tax filing errors can be avoided by e-filing your tax return 

When you e-file:

  • Calculations are done for you
  • The correct schedules are included, and
  • Processing is faster, resulting in faster refunds.

If you file on paper, please 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.

Note:

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.

You may also go to Where's My MA Income Tax Refund?

Get some free help with filing your taxes

You may qualify for free filing help from tax professionals. Go to free tax preparation services to see if there is an option that works for you..

Find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

EITC is a benefit for working people with low or moderate incomes. You might lower your taxes or get a refund.

Learn more about the Earned Income Tax Credit and how to apply.

When I’m 65

Be sure to take advantage of the Circuit Breaker credit if you own or rent a home and meet the qualifications, which include being at least age 65. It could mean just over $1,000 for you.

Learn more about the Circuit Breaker Credit, how you apply to receive it, and who can help.

License or state identification information on the 2022 return

Providing this information can strengthen safeguards to:

  • Protect taxpayers from identity theft and
  • Validate the taxpayer’s e-filed return before the return is accepted for processing.

ID information is not required on the Massachusetts tax return. You can choose the option for no ID if you do not want to provide it.

Child and dependent related credits

Starting with the 2022 tax year, when filing your Form 1 or Form 1-NR/PY return, you can choose between the following 2 credits:

  1. Child care expenses credit:
    • For children under age 13
    • Disabled dependent or spouse.
  2. Dependent member(s) of household credit:
    • For children under age 12
    • Dependents age 65 or over (as of December 31, 2022)
    • Disabled dependents.

If you qualify for both, you cannot claim 2 credits. You are only allowed the greater of the 2 credits. 

Learn more about child and dependent related credits.

Reporting unemployment benefits received during 2022

If you received unemployment benefits or pandemic unemployment benefits during 2022, you should receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, showing the amount of unemployment compensation received.

You must report all of this income on your 2022 Massachusetts Individual Income Tax return:

  • Form 1 for residents or
  • Form 1-NR/PY for nonresidents or part-year residents.      

If you did not receive unemployment benefits or pandemic unemployment benefits during 2022, but you did receive a Form 1099-G reporting unemployment benefits, someone may have used your identity to falsely claim unemployment benefits.

You should notify the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) by: 

Do not report this income on your Massachusetts Individual Income Tax return. After DUA reviews the fraud report, they will send a corrected Form 1099-G.

Keep a copy of all Forms 1099-G with your 2022 tax records and be aware that DOR may ask for an explanation of why the amount shown on the Form 1099-G was not reported on the return.

Contact

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).

For more ways to connect, visit Contact DOR.

Do you have a question about your tax account?

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

Do you need to register with MassTaxConnect?

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

  • Select Sign Up
  • Select Create My Logon.
MassTaxConnect sign up screen


You may also register by clicking on Register a new taxpayer under Quick Links.

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