- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
(Boston, MA) - Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for October totaled $1.617 billion, $62 million or 4.0 percent more than the state took in last October. Excluding the $13.5 million in one-time tax settlement payments received in October, revenue collections totaled $1.603 billion, $49 million or 3.1 percent more than last October. Greater than expected individual income estimated tax payments, less than expected individual refunds and stronger than expected corporate and business tax payments, combined to offset less than expected income payments with bills and returns and less than expected sales tax collections to finish out the month $12 million above the monthly benchmark (excluding one-time settlement payments) based on the FY15 revenue estimate of $24.387 billion.
Year-to-date tax collections totaled $7.310 billion, $212 million or 3.0 percent more than this time last year. Excluding the $13.5 million in one-time tax settlements received year-to-date, tax collections totaled $7.296 billion year-to-date, and $32 million below the year-to-date benchmark.
“October, a small tax collection month with no quarterly estimated tax payments due, closed slightly above projections,” said Commissioner Pitter. “At four months into the fiscal year, we are above where we were at this time last year but slightly below what we expected mostly due to lower than projected sales, corporate and business tax collections.”
Individual income tax payments for October totaled $915 million, $81 million or 9.7 percent more than last October and $16 million above the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date income tax payments totaled $4.081 billion, $188 million or 4.8 percent over this time last year and $48 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Estimated income tax payments totaled $41 million for the month, $7 million or 20.5 percent more than last October and $6 million over the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date estimated income tax collections totaled $614 million, $48 million or 8.5 percent over last year at this time and $28 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Income tax payments with returns and bills brought in $101 million for the month, $1 million or 0.8 percent more than last October and $12 million below the October benchmark. Year-to-date collections totaled $208 million, $59 million or 22.1 percent below last year at this time and $32 million below the year-to-date benchmark.
Withholding collections totaled $860 million, $47 million or 5.7 percent more than last October and $4 million below the monthly benchmark. Through the first four months of the fiscal year withholdings totaled $3.401 billion, $163 million or 5.0 percent over the same time last year and $16 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Excluding the $13.5 million in one-time tax settlement payments, corporate and business collections for October were $15 million, $66 million less than last October and $6 million above the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date corporate and business collections (excluding one-time settlement payments) totaled $545 million, $92 million or 14.4 percent less than the same period last year and $52 million below the year-to-date benchmark.
Sales and use tax collections for the month totaled $494 million, up $27 million or 5.8 percent from last October and $9 million below the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date collections totaled $1.959 billion, $95 million or 5.1 percent over the same period last year and $27 million below the year-to-date benchmark. Regular sales and use tax collections were $11 million below benchmark in October and $25 million below benchmark year-to-date. Motor vehicles sales tax collections came in almost at benchmark in October and slightly below benchmark by $1 million year-to-date. Meals tax was slightly above benchmark by $1 million in October but less than expected by $1 million year-to-date.
Preliminary tax amnesty collections, which are largely reflected in income and sales tax revenues, totaled just over $39 million through the month of October with approximately forty-nine thousand taxpayers participating to date. The two-month tax amnesty period closed on October 31. However, collections will continue into November for taxpayers who meet the timing criteria for submitting payments.