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State delays collection of software services tax

Tech tax likely to be repealed

Massachusetts officials will delay collecting payments for the recently passed software services tax, after state lawmakers joined Governor Deval Patrick in promising to repeal the controversial measure in the coming weeks.

The first payment by eligible taxpayers was due Friday. The Department of Revenue has extended the first filing deadline to Oct. 20.

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“This extension is designed to minimize administrative burden on vendors during a period when the Legislature is likely to be considering repeal of these new tax provisions,” said Amy Pitter, Massachusetts commissioner of revenue, in a statement posted Monday on the commission’s website.

Beacon Hill leaders have all called for abolishing the tax, which has been the subject of a noisy protest by the business and tech communities since it was passed in July as part of a larger transportation financing bill. The financing package extended the 6.25 percent sales tax to many software and computer services, such as modifying off-the-shelf computer programs or designing websites. Lawmakers could vote on a repeal bill in the first official session of the Legislature this fall.

Since the tax took effect on July 31, the Department of Revenue has issued more than 50 clarifications about it and received more than 200 comments from businesses opposing the levy.

The department has yet to issue final regulations for collecting the tax.

Michael B. Farrell can be reached at michael.farrell@globe.com.
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