- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Ann C. Dufresne
(Boston-Monday, January 6, 2014) - Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for December totaled $2.095 billion, $53 million or 2.5 percent below what the state took in last December. Strong performance in income tax cash estimated payments and slightly better than expected collections in several other tax categories partially offset mostly weak performance in withholding collections to end the month $76 million below the monthly benchmark based on the FY2014 revenue estimate of $22.797 billion.
Revenue collections half way through the fiscal year totaled $10.763 billion, $712 million or 7.1 percent more than at this time last year and $281 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
Historically revenue collections in December are significant. Withholding payments begin to reflect year-end bonuses, final corporate and business estimated payments are due and some taxpayers make their individual income tax estimated payments in December instead of January so they can take the deduction on their federal income tax return.
“Although withholding was $124 million below benchmark in December, about $50 million of this shortfall was due to taxpayers shifting payments to November,” said Commissioner Pitter. “As we highlighted in November’s revenue report, the November withholding surplus was partly due to timing dynamics. In addition, we believe a minimum of $30 million in withholding collections shifted into January. The remaining $44 million shortfall was likely due to a decline in bonus-related payments this December relative to last December.”
Commissioner Pitter also noted that $25.3 million in one-time corporate and business settlements were collected in December. Year-to-date settlements in excess of $10 million now total $184.4 million.
Total income tax collections for December were $1.208 billion, down $22 million or 1.8 percent over last December and $67 million below the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date income was $6.034 billion, $344 million or 6.0 percent over last year and $96 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
December withholding collections totaled $981 million, $68 million or 6.5 percent less than last December and $124 million below the monthly benchmark. So far this fiscal year, withholding collections are $5.124 billion, $185 million or 3.7 percent over last year and $55 million below the year-to-date benchmark.
Estimated income tax payments brought in $199 million for the month, $37 million or 23.1 percent more than last December and $50 million over the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date estimated income tax collections totaled $782 million, $99 million or 14.4 percent over last year at this time and $93 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Income tax payments with returns or bills brought in $33 million for the month, $7 million or 25.4 percent more than last December and $6 million above the December benchmark. Year-to-date income tax payments with returns or bills totaled $341 million, $90 million or 36.1 percent over last year at this time and $89 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Corporate and business tax collections for December were $282 million, $77 million or 21.5 percent below last December’s collections and $1 million below the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date corporate and business tax collections totaled $946 million, up $71 million or 8.2 percent from the same period last year and $127 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
Sales and use tax collections for December totaled $443 million, up $30 million or 7.4 percent from last December and $5 million below the monthly benchmark. Collections through the first half of the fiscal year totaled $2.744 billion, $165 million or 6.4 percent more than the same period last year and $23 million over the year-to-date benchmark.