- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Ann C. Dufresne
(Boston, MA)-Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for January totaled $2.288 billion, $249 million or 12.2 percent more than the state took in last January. Stronger estimated income payments offset weak withholding and corporate and business collections to end the month $173 million above the monthly benchmark based on the revised FY13 revenue estimate of $21.496 billion.
Tax collections since the fiscal year began last July total $12.338 billion, $455 million or 3.8 percent more than a year ago and $307 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
A delay in opening the federal filing season may explain the 72.1 percent drop in income cash refunds compared to last year. Refunds totaled $29 million in January, $75 million below benchmark. Income refunds are expected to make gains throughout the tax filing season.
Commissioner Pitter noted that we are still seeing the fallout from the last minute settlement of the fiscal cliff debate. “Investors, uncertain about federal fiscal policies, made higher than expected estimated income cash payments impacting revenues in December and January. Some accelerated sales of appreciated assets into 2012. Some businesses shifted bonus withholding payments from January to December and the delay in the federal filing season also shifted refunds from January to coming months. As a result of these timing related factors, the year to date benchmark figures should be used with caution.”
Income tax collections in January totaled $1.596 billion, $245 million or 18.2 percent more than a year ago and were $176 million above benchmark. Income estimated payments of $689 million were $196 million or 39.7 percent higher than a year ago and $172 million above benchmark.
Sales tax collections for January totaled $496 million, up $4 million or 0.7 percent from the same period a year ago and $13 million below benchmark and reflected slower than expected taxable holiday sales transactions in December.
Corporate/business tax collections of $36 million were $16 million lower than a year ago and were $7 million below benchmark. Year-to-date collections total $910 million, down $40 million or 4.2 percent over last January and $88 million above the yearly benchmark. Other tax collections including deeds and estate tax collections were also strong, exceeding the monthly benchmark by $16 million.