Learn about extensions for filing and paying Massachusetts income tax

You may be able to apply for an extension if you're not ready to file your Massachusetts income tax by the due date.

You automatically get a 6-month extension to file your Massachusetts income tax return as long as you've paid at least 80% of the total amount of tax due on or before the due date, and you're filing:

  • Form 1
  • Form 1-NR/PY
  • Form 2
  • Form 2G
  • Form 3
  • Form 3M
  • Form M-990T-62
  • Form NRCR, or
  • An estate filing Form M-706

Once it's granted, the 6-month extension runs from the original due date for filing the return. You can file your return anytime during the extension period. An extension to file a return doesn't extend the due date for paying any tax due.

Estates seeking a time extension to pay the estate tax must still request approval from DOR by filing Form M-4678. Form M-4678 may be filed online.

If an extension payment is required to reach the 80% threshold, you should pay electronically. If you need to pay $5,000 or more to qualify for an extension, you must pay electronically.

Farmers or fishermen who miss the March 1 deadline will not be penalized if they file and pay by April 15. This penalty exception is explained on Form M-2210. If you qualify for this exception, include Form M-2210 with your tax return, whether you file electronically or on paper. See IRS Notice 2013-5 for more information.

Taxpayers affected by presidentially declared disasters in the United States automatically get an extension for filing returns and submitting tax payments. The due date and payment date for returns and payments are extended for a specified period announced by the IRS unless we publicly announce otherwise. This extension covers filing tax returns, paying tax (including estimated tax), and filing tax extension forms with us.

Extensions for those serving in a combat zone

Military personnel serving in a combat zone (or are hospitalized due to serving) on the due date automatically get an extension to file income tax returns and to pay taxes due. The extension period begins after you leave the combat zone or after you're released from the hospital. Add 180 days the number of days that you had left to file when you first entered the combat zone.

Designated combat zones include/have included:

  • The Persian Gulf
  • Kosovo, and
  • Afghanistan

You won't be charged interest on taxes or penalized during the extension period. The extension to file returns also applies to spouses of personnel serving in combat areas if a joint return is filed.

To claim a time extension to file a return or pay tax, write "COMBAT ZONE" on the income tax envelope and the top of the income tax return that you submit to us. If filing electronically, write "COMBAT ZONE" next to your name or on an address line (if necessary), along with the date of deployment.

The due date for filing Massachusetts income tax returns and paying tax is the same as the federal date, and calculated as follows:

  Description Calculation
1. The starting date is the date of departure from the combat area (or, if applicable, the termination date of combatant activities in the combat area). Date of departing from combat area
2. Add at least 180 days after the starting date stated above. + 180 days
3. Add the days you had left to file from January 1 through April 15 before you left for the combat zone (up to 105 days). + (Days you had remaining in filing season, up to 105)
4. Add days spent hospitalized, if any. Any period of continuous hospitalization as a result of injuries while serving, including hospitalization outside the United States and any period for up to 5 years of hospitalization within the United States. This does not apply to spouses. + (Days spent hospitalized)
5. Add days spent in a missing status (missing in action or a prisoner of war), if any. + (Days spent missing)
6. Get the total number of days you have to file your tax return and pay tax, starting from your departure date. = Days you have from departure date to file and pay

Additional Resources

Penalties and interest

An extension will be voided if you don't pay 80% of the total tax liability on or before the return's original due date. Void extensions are subject to penalty and interest charges from the original due date. You'll be penalized if you don't pay any part of the tax on or before the return's due date, with a penalty of 1% per month of the tax due, up to a maximum of 25%.

Returns not filed on or before the due date are also subject to a late return penalty of 1% per month of the tax due, up to a maximum of 25%. You'll also be charged interest on any tax not paid on or before the original due date.

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