Massachusetts

Mass. Tax Refund Checks Going Out Tuesday. How Much Will You Get?

About 3 million taxpayers will receive a refund in the form of a mailed check or a direct deposit worth about 14% of what they owed in state personal income tax in 2021

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The first checks and direct deposits from $3 billion in excess tax revenue will head back to Massachusetts taxpayers starting Tuesday when the calendar officially changes to November.

A spokesperson for the state Executive Office of Administration and Finance said Friday that the money will head out the door under the voter-approved tax cap law known as Chapter 62F, which taxpayers triggered for the first time since 1987 by delivering massive amounts of taxes. About 3 million taxpayers will receive a refund in the form of a mailed check or a direct deposit worth about 14% of what they owed in state personal income tax in 2021, the spokesperson said.

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Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the program:

What is Chapter 62F?

Chapter 62F is a Massachusetts General Law that requires the state Department of Revenue to issue a credit to taxpayers if total tax revenues in a given fiscal year exceed an annual cap tied to wage and salary growth in the Commonwealth.

How much will my tax refund be?

The money will be returned to eligible taxpayers by the state Department of Revenue in proportion to their personal income tax liability in Massachusetts incurred in the immediately preceding taxable year -- Tax Year 2021.

The administration said Friday that eligible taxpayers will receive a credit in the form of a refund that is approximately 14% of their Massachusetts Tax Year 2021 personal income tax liability.

The Baker administration set up a website, www.mass.gov/62frefunds, where you can get a preliminary estimate of your refund. A call center is also now available at 877-677-9727 to answer questions about the Chapter 62F taxpayer refunds. It is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Credits are subject to offsets, state officials said, including for unpaid tax liability, unpaid child support and certain other debts.

Who is eligible for a tax rebate?

To be eligible for a refund, the administration said individuals must have filed a 2021 state tax return on or before Oct. 17, 2022. An individual's credit may be reduced due to refund intercepts, including for unpaid taxes, unpaid child support and certain other debts.

Please note that:

  • Both resident and non-resident filers are eligible
  • Non-residents on whose behalf a partnership files on a composite basis are eligible
  • Fiduciary filers (trusts and estates) are eligible
A state surplus could mean tax relief for residents, but it's not a done deal.

How and when will I get my refund?

Individuals eligible for a refund will receive it automatically as a check sent through the mail or by direct deposit. The distribution of refunds is expected to begin on Nov. 1.

No action is needed to receive your refund.

Will the refunds be treated as taxable income?

The refunds are not taxable as income at the state level.

All tax refunds, including the 62F refunds, are taxable at the federal level only to the extent that an individual claimed itemized deductions on their fedreal return for tax year 2021. Refund recipients who itemized on their federal returns for 2021 will receive a Form 1099-G from the Department of Revenue by Jan. 31, 2023 to use when completing their 2022 federal return.

The administration plans to distribute the refunds on a rolling basis through Dec. 15. The administration had previously estimated refunds of about 13% of income tax liabilities.

Taxpayers who owed state personal income tax last year and already filed their 2021 return are eligible and do not need to take any additional steps to receive their refunds.

Information from State House News Service and Mass.gov was included in this report.

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