Updated: December 6, 2021
The Department of Revenue enforces Massachusetts tax law and ensures that all Massachusetts taxpayers pay the correct amount of taxes.
- Have a duty to pay their taxes.
- Have certain legal rights for if they disagree with the amount of taxes that they have been assessed.
The function of the Office of Appeals is to:
- Hear tax disputes in an informal, quick, and consistent manner
- Make determinations about the correct amount of tax to pay
Depending on the type of appeal involved, the Office of Appeals will conduct either a conference or a hearing with you to:
- Listen to your dispute
- Ask questions
- Request more information or documentation if necessary
- Make a determination about how to resolve the dispute
The answer to how to resolve a tax dispute is not always clear. Therefore the Office of Appeals has the authority to settle tax disputes by accepting less than the full amount of tax due.
Keep in mind:
- You may want to settle a tax dispute with the Department of Revenue after thinking about the amount of uncertainty in the outcome of your case.
- You may request settlement consideration of your dispute at any time during the appeals process.
- The conference, hearing, and settlement processes are all combined at the Office of Appeals.
Types of appeals and how to apply
1. Pre-Assessment Appeals:
- You received a Notice of Intent to Assess as a result of an audit, or any other notice of a proposed tax change as a result of a routine verification of a tax return, and you disagree with the proposed tax assessment.
- An appeal is made in writing by filing a Form DR-1, Office of Appeals Form. You may also request a pre-assessment conference and settlement consideration on this form.
- You must complete a Form B-37, Special Consent Extending the Time for Assessment of Taxes, if you are requesting settlement consideration.
2. Post-Assessment Appeals:
- You received a Notice of Assessment and disagree with the tax assessment.
- You want to amend a tax return that you have already filed.
- An appeal is made by filing an Application for Abatement/Amended Return on which you can also request a post-assessment hearing.
- You may also request settlement consideration by filing a Form DR-1, Office of Appeals Form along with the Application for Abatement/Amended Return.
3. Other Types of Appeals:
The Office of Appeals also conducts conferences and hearings involving other types of disputes such as penalty disputes, manufacturing classification appeals, responsible person determinations, direct payment authority appeals, and applications for certain tax credits
Time limits for filing an appeal
Every type of appeal has strict time limits which must be met to start the appeals process.
For Pre-Assessment appeals:
Generally, a Form DR-1, Office of Appeals Form must be received by the Department of Revenue within thirty 30 days of the date of the Notice of Intent to Assess. If mailing the Form DR-1, it must be postmarked within twenty-five 25 days of the date of the Notice of Intent to Assess.
For Post- Assessment appeals and filing abatements and amended returns:
Generally, a request for an abatement or amended return must be filed by the latest of:
- Within three years from the date of filing the return
- Within two years from the date the tax was assessed or deemed to be assessed or
- Within one year from the date the tax was paid.
Appeal of Abatement Denial to the Appellate Tax Board:
Generally, a petition to appeal an abatement determination must be filed with the Appellate Tax Board within sixty 60 days of the date of the Notice of Abatement Determination or within 6 months of the date of deemed denial. For more information please see the Appellate Tax Board.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Office of Appeals
P.O. Box 9551
Boston, MA 02114-9551
Phone: (617) 626-3300
Fax: (617) 626-3349
Deliveries: 100 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114