Massachusetts collects $2B more than expected in April taxes


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BOSTON (State House News Service) – The Department of Revenue collected more than $2 billion more than what it was expecting to during April, pushing the state at least $3.5 billion ahead of its year-to-date benchmark with just two months left in the fiscal year.

April collections added up to $6.941 billion, $3.076 billion or 79.6 percent more than what was collected in April 2021 and $2.057 billion or 42.1 percent more than DOR’s own monthly benchmark. April is historically the single-largest month for tax collections.

“April collections increased in most major tax types in comparison to April 2021 collections and the April 2022 monthly benchmark, including increases in withholding, non-withholding, corporate and business tax, and ‘all other’ tax. Sales and use tax decreased relative to April 2021 collections but increased relative to the April 2022 benchmark,” Revenue Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder said. “The increase in withholding in comparison to April 2021 collections is likely related to labor market conditions, while the increase in non-withholding tax collections is mostly due to an increase in income return payments. The decrease in sales and use tax in comparison to April 2021 collections is partially due to a law requiring the early remittance of certain sales, meals, and room occupancy tax collections, which became effective in April 2021 and generated a one-time increase in sales and use tax collections in that month.”

Now through 10 months of fiscal year 2022, tax receipts of $34.487 billion are more than $8 billion or 30 percent ahead of actual FY 2021 collections and are $4.241 billion or 14 percent above DOR’s year-to-date benchmark. After adjusting for a pass-through entity excise that officials have said has affected comparisons, year-to-date tax collections are $3.573 billion or 12.3 percent above the year-to-date benchmark.

The continued trend of above-benchmark tax collections will undoubtedly add to the calls from Gov. Charlie Baker and others for tax relief. Baker proposed a series of estate, capital gains and senior tax reforms that the Legislature has neither ruled in or out, but legislative Democrats have focused on investing and saving over-budget revenues and repeatedly rejected attempts to suspend the state’s gas tax during a period of high fuel prices and surging tax revenues.

The state took in more than $5 billion more than it was expecting in fiscal year 2021 and this year could be on a similar track. With $34.487 billion already in the bank, DOR would have to bring in just $1.461 billion more over the next two months to meet the agreed-upon annual revenue estimate of $35.948 billion. DOR has set its May benchmark at $2.339 billion and its June benchmark at $3.363 billion.

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