BOSTON, Mass. (MassDOR)–Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder today announced that preliminary revenue collections for December 2021 totaled $4.235 billion, which is $1.396 billion or 49.2% more than actual collections in December 2020, and $1.228 billion or 40.9% more than benchmark.[1] (1] With the recent enactment of the FY2022 budget, monthly revenue benchmarks were developed for the August 2021 through June 2022 period only. Monthly benchmarks from December 2021 through June 2022 were further modified to reflect the impact of the recently-enacted pass-through entity tax and the impact of taxation of non-residents.) 

The increase in collections is due in part to the recently-enacted elective pass-through entity (PTE) excise, which allows members of a PTE to avoid the federal limit on the deduction for state and local taxes by electing to pay tax on the PTE’s income at the entity-level, and then claim a credit equal to 90% of the PTE excise paid.

Many PTEs paid their 2021 excise taxes in December in order to claim a deduction on their 2021 federal return. In the coming months, PTE members who also paid estimated taxes themselves on PTE income will receive refunds due to the credits offsetting 90% of the PTE excise payments. As a result, most of the increase in collections associated with the PTE excise is temporary. After adjusting for PTE excise payments, December 2021 collections are $520 million or 18.3% above actual collections in December 2020, and $635 million or 23.3% more than the benchmark. 

FY2022 year-to-date collections totaled approximately $17.846 billion, which is $3.549 billion or 24.8% more than collections in the same period of FY2021, and $2.142 billion or 13.6% more than year-to-date benchmark. FY2022 year-to-date collections were also impacted by the PTE excise.  After adjusting for PTE excise payments, FY2022 year-to-date collections are $2.674 billion or 18.7% more than collections in the same period of FY2021 and $1.549 billion or 10.0% more than the year-to-date benchmark.   

“December 2021 revenue collections increased in all major tax types in comparison to December 2020 collections and the December 2021 monthly benchmark, including withholding, non-withholding, sales and use tax, corporate and business tax, and ‘all other’ tax,” said Commissioner Snyder. “The increase in withholding is likely related to improvements in labor market conditions.  The non-withholding increase is mostly due to the recently-enacted excise and, as mentioned above, most of this increase is temporary.  The sales and use tax increase in part reflects continued strength in retail sales, motor vehicle sales and meals tax, which in turn were impacted by rising inflation. The increase in ‘all other’ tax is primarily attributable to estate tax, a category that tends to fluctuate. We will continue to closely monitor how the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and returning restrictions on economic activities impact revenue collections for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

December is a significant month for revenues because many corporate and business taxpayers are required to make quarterly estimated payments. In addition, some quarterly personal income tax estimated payments due by January 15th may be received in December. Historically, roughly 9.5% of annual revenue, on average, has been received during December.

Given the brief period covered in the report and the impact of PTE excise payments, December and year-to-date results should not be used as predictors for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Details:

  • Income tax collections for December were $2.583 billion, $861 million or 50.0% above benchmark, and $1.105 billion or 74.8% more than December 2020. As previously mentioned, income tax estimated payments and income tax returns and bills collections were impacted by the mostly temporary effect of PTE excise payments. After adjusting for PTE excise payments, income tax collections for December 2021 are $268 million or 18.6% above benchmark and $229 million or 15.5% more than December 2020.   

·       Withholding tax collections for December totaled $1.510 billion, $144 million or 10.6% above benchmark, and $203 million or 15.6% more than December 2020.

·       Income tax estimated payments totaled $952 million for December, $607 million or 175.7% more than benchmark, and $815 million or 592.3% more than December 2020.

·       Income tax returns and bills totaled $150 million for December, $108 million or 259.6% more than benchmark, and $108 million or 257.0% more than December 2020.

·       Income tax cash refunds in December totaled $29 million in outflows, $2 million or 5.7% below benchmark, but $21 million or 258.8% more than December 2020.

·       Sales and use tax collections for December totaled $771 million, $142 million or 22.6% above benchmark, and $193 million or 33.5% more than December 2020.

·       Meals tax collections, a sub-set of sales and use tax, totaled $108 million, $27 million or 33.3% above benchmark, and $44 million or 67.3% more than December 2020.

·       Corporate and business tax collections for the month totaled $638 million, $190 million or 42.5% above benchmark, and $46 million or 7.8% more than December 2020.

·       “All other” tax collections for December totaled $243 million, $35 million or 16.8% above benchmark, and $51 million or 26.8% more than December 2020.