- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Robert R. Bliss
Higher than anticipated income tax refunds send monthly collections $41 million below revised benchmark
Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for November 2008 totaled $1.257 billion, down $59 million from last November and $41 million below the monthly benchmark based on the October 15th revision.
While November withholding collections totaled $775 million, up $22 million or 2.9 percent from a year ago and $18 million above the revised benchmark, income tax refunds were $39 million higher than a year ago, more than offsetting the higher withholding collections.
Sales tax collections continue to be weak with November sales tax collections totaling $313 million, down $19 million or 5.7 percent from one year ago and $12 million below the revised benchmark. Collections in all three tax types - sales, meals and motor vehicles - were below that of a year ago.
November corporate and business tax collections totaled $7 million, down $49 million from a year ago and $43 million below the revised benchmark.
"November is a small month for tax collections overall, as there are no quarterly estimated payments due for most taxpayers and refunds are completed for income and corporate returns filed on extension," said DOR Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal. "Collections in December and especially January, which is a big month for estimated payments, will provide a better indication of the state's revenue picture for the remainder of the fiscal year," she said.
Bal noted that collections for the month were boosted by the receipt of a one-time estate tax payment of $54 million.
FY09 year-to-date tax collections total $7.197 billion, down $89 million or 1.2 percent from one year ago and $31 million below the year-to-date (YTD) benchmark based on the revised Oct. 15 revenue estimate of $20.302 billion. While YTD income tax collections are $86 million ahead of a year ago, sales and use tax collections are down $56 million and corporate and business tax collections are down $126 million.