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Massachusetts is one of a handful of states with a flat income tax rate. For tax year 2022, people who are required to file a Massachusetts tax return will see the entirety of their taxable income charged at a flat 5% rate. Certain types of income in the Bay State, however, are subject to a different tax rate.
The 2022 tax-filing deadline in Massachusetts was April 18, 2023. If you met certain criteria and paid 80% of your total tax bill before this date, a six-month extension to Oct. 16, 2023, was automatically provided.
Starting with income earned in 2023, an additional 4% tax on income over $1 million will be levied, making the highest tax rate in the state 9%.
Massachusetts state income tax rates and tax brackets
For tax year 2022, Massachusetts’s state income tax rate is 5% on annual gross income over $8,000.
Gross income in Massachusetts includes both earned income, such as salaries, wages, tips and commissions, and unearned income, such as interest, dividends and capital gains. The exceptions to Massachusetts’ 5% tax rate are certain types of capital gains, such as short-term capital gains and gains on collectibles, which are taxed at 12%.
Do I have to pay Massachusetts state income tax?
Anyone earning over $8,000 in Massachusetts annual gross income is required to file a state tax return.
Those earning less than this amount do not need to file a return, but they can still file a return to claim refundable tax credits.
This $8,000 income threshold is on a per-person basis, giving married couples the option to file jointly or separately.
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Am I a resident for Massachusetts state income tax purposes?
Resident status rules
There are two ways to be considered a full-time resident of Massachusetts. The first is to live in Massachusetts for the entire tax year, while the second is to maintain a home in Massachusetts and spend at least 184 days of the tax year in the state.
Part-year resident status rules
Part-year residents refer to individuals who either moved to the state and became residents or moved out of the state and ended their residencies within the tax year.
Nonresident status rules
If neither of the above applies, then an individual is considered a nonresident of Massachusetts. A state tax return is still required if your Massachusetts annual gross income exceeds $8,000 or the prorated personal exemption, whichever is less.
What is Massachusetts' standard deduction?
Unlike other states, Massachusetts does not have a state standard deduction. Instead, state taxpayers can determine if they qualify for certain tax exemptions to reduce the amount of tax owed.
Anyone who files a Massachusetts state tax return is given a personal exemption amount based on their tax-filing status. Taxpayers may also be eligible for additional exemptions, such as those for having qualifying dependents or for having paid certain types of medical or dental costs throughout the tax year. Mass.gov has the full details.
Personal exemption amount
Married filing separately.
Head of household.
Married filing jointly.
What’s the filing deadline for my Massachusetts state income tax bill?
The filing deadline for 2022 Massachusetts state income tax returns was April 18, 2023. To have qualified for a six-month extension, you must have paid at least 80% of the total amount of tax owed by that mid-April deadline. If you didn’t owe any taxes and didn’t file by the deadline, an extension to October was automatically granted.
The state extension deadline follows the federal extension deadline set by the IRS, which for the 2022 tax year is October 16, 2023.
Those who have been affected by a federally declared disaster automatically receive an extension for filing tax returns, paying their tax bill and filing a Massachusetts tax extension.
In late September, the IRS said residents of Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties who have quarterly estimated taxes due in January 2024, or who filed for a federal income tax extension, now have until Feb. 15, 2024, to file taxes. If you expect to have a tax bill, the IRS encourages you to pay that as soon as possible if you haven't already. Extensions give you more time to file, not more time to pay.
4 things to know about Massachusetts state tax
Free tax-filing is available to eligible Massachusetts full-time and part-time residents through MassTaxConnect.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue encourages taxpayers to file and pay their tax returns online. Filing can be done through a tax vendor or MassTaxConnect. Paper filing options are also available.
Massachusetts offers payment plans for people who can't afford their tax bills. If you owe $5,000 or less, you can sign up for a plan online. People with higher tax bills should reach out to DOR collections for more information
Check the status of your Massachusetts state tax return online or by phone at 617-887-6367 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time.
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