- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Ann C. Dufresne
(Boston, MA) - Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for September totaled $2.414 billion, $210 million or 9.5 percent more than the state took in last September. Better than expected gains in quarterly estimated income and corporate tax payments more than offset the shortfall in withholding to end the month $59 million above the monthly benchmark based on the FY14 revenue estimate of $22.797 billion.
Tax collections for the first quarter of the fiscal year total $5.544 billion, $463 million or 9.1 percent more than at this time last year and $199 million above the year-to-date benchmark. A significant portion of the year-to-date surplus, $70 million, is due to one-time tax settlements that were collected in July and August. By law, every tax settlement over $10 million must be deposited in the stabilization fund. However, an estimated $25 million of those one-time settlements is earmarked to pay for the August sales tax holiday while $35 million is already programmed into the state budget to support annual spending.
“September is an important tax collection month because quarterly estimated income tax payments are due from individuals and businesses,” said Commissioner Pitter. “Although the September growth was in line with first and second quarterly growth for both of these tax categories, it is not always a good predictor for future performance.”
Total income payments for September were $1.337 billion, $83 million or 6.6 percent over last September and $8 million over the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date income was $3.058 billion, $236 million or 8.4 percent over this time last year and $100 million over the yearly benchmark.
Estimated income payments brought in $486 million for the month, $58 million or 13.4 percent more than last September and $29 million over the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date estimated income tax collections totaled $532 million, $47 million or 9.6 percent over last year at this time and $30 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Income tax payments with returns/bills brought in $38 million for the month, $9 million or 30 percent more than last September and $7 million over the September benchmark. Year-to-date estimated income tax collections totaled $165 million, $83 million or 102 percent over last year at this time and $79 million over the year-to-date benchmark, $50 million of which is due to settlement-related payments.
Withholding collections totaled $838 million, $21 million or 2.6 percent more than last September but $24 million under the September benchmark. Almost all of the September weakness is due to timing-related withholding shift of roughly $20 million from September to August. So far this fiscal year, withholding collections are $2,425 billion, $120 million or 5.2 percent over last September and $6 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Corporate and business collections for September were $453 million, $66 million or 17.2 percent more than last September and $39 million over the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date corporate and business collections totaled $556 million, $59 million or 11.8 percent more than the same period last year and $26 million above the year-to-date benchmark, $20 million of which is due to settlement-related payments.
Sales and use tax collections for September totaled $445 million, up $29 million or 6.9 percent from last September and was right on the monthly benchmark. Collections through the first quarter totaled $1.397 billion, $83 million or 6.3 percent over the same period last year and $24 million over the year-to-date benchmark. Regular sales and use tax collections fell $6 million below benchmark in September, but that shortfall was offset by a better than expected meals and motor vehicle sales tax collections for the month.
Among other tax categories, motor fuels reached the September benchmark, estate, deeds (including Secretary of the Commonwealth’s deeds), and tobacco all performed slightly better than expected.