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Corporate Excise tax filing requirements and methods

Learn the guidelines for filing Massachusetts corporate excise tax — including 355U, S corporation and and Electric Funds Transfer (EFT) information.

Updated: August 26, 2021


Corporate excise returns, together with payment in full of any tax due, must be filed on or before the 15th day of the 3rd month after the close of the corporation's taxable year, calendar or fiscal.

Businesses incorporated under Massachusetts law, or businesses doing business in Massachusetts but incorporated elsewhere, should file Form 355.

A corporation organized in Massachusetts may be eligible to use the simpler Form 355SBC (small business corporation) if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Its gross receipts or sales and total income are under $100,000;
  • All of its net income is taxable in Massachusetts and is not subject to corporate tax in another state;
  • It is not a Domestic International Sales Corporation (DISC), S corporation or a security corporation.
  • No claims are being made for credits, special deductions or adjustments against its Massachusetts corporate excise; and the corporation

    • Does not own 50 percent or more of the voting stock of another corporation and
    • Does not have 50 percent or more of its voting stock owned by another corporation.

355U - Combined filing corporations incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts, or corporations doing business in Massachusetts but incorporated elsewhere must file and report their taxes as a member of the combined group reporting its tax on Form 355U.

S corporations incorporated under the laws of the Massachusetts or S corporations doing business in Massachusetts but incorporated elsewhere should file Form 355S.

The following chart summarizes what returns must be filed.

Type of Massachusetts Corporation

State Form to File

Federal Form to File

Small domestic corporation

Form  355SBC

Form 1120

Domestic or foreign corporation

Form 355

Form 1120

Domestic or foreign corporation (part of a MA combined group)

Form 355U

Form 1120

S corporation

Form 355S

Form 1120S

Quarterly estimated payments

Form 355-ES

Form 8109 or EFTPS
(consult IRS)

Most corporations are required to file and pay electronically. See TIR 16-9 for more information.

Electronic funds transfer (EFT)
Corporations required to make electronic payments, and those wishing to do so voluntarily, should be aware that the Department of Revenue offers two EFT methods:

  • ACH Credit 
  • ACH Debit.

For more information about these electronic payment options, see DOR e-filing and payment requirements.

Some corporations are required to take part in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Visit the IRS to learn more.

Please note that starting on January 2018, business return due dates will be changing. See TIR 17-5 for more information.