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Mass. tax revenue falls $3 billion short of forecast due to extended deadlines

The Department of Revenue said revised results would be released in September after delayed payments are tallied

The state delayed April and June tax-payment deadlines until July 15.
The state delayed April and June tax-payment deadlines until July 15.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Massachusetts brought in tax revenue of $27.3 billion in the just-ended fiscal year, $3 billion, or 10 percent, less than the Baker administration had forecasted, largely because the state delayed income-tax payment deadlines to provide relief during the coronavirus shutdown.

The Department of Revenue said Friday the tax tally, which was 8.1 percent below the previous year, was preliminary and would be updated in September.

Following the lead of the federal government, Massachusetts in late March extended the April 15 deadline for filing and paying personal income taxes to July 15. Deadlines for April and June estimated tax payments were similarly pushed back.

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Department of Revenue commissioner Geoffrey Snyder said some 80 percent of the revenue shortfall for the year that ended June 30 resulted from payment deferrals. June is typically the second-biggest month for incoming revenue, after April, because it includes quarterly estimated tax payments from businesses and individuals.

The state received $2.5 billion in tax revenue for June, down 22 percent from a year earlier and 23 percent below forecast. The month and year-end numbers reflect collections through July 24.

“Until we have a complete picture, it’s hard to know what to make of these numbers,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The group previously forecast a shortfall of $600 million to $800 million in tax revenue for the year just ended.

Here’s a breakdown of the major tax categories with comparisons to the state’s benchmark forecast, which was made in January, and actual results for fiscal 2019:

  • Income tax collections were $15 billion, or 14 percent below the benchmark and 12 percent less than a year earlier.
  • Withholding collections were $13.7 billion, $4 million shy of the benchmark but 4 percent above a year earlier.
  • Income tax payments with returns and bills were $1 billion, or 65 percent below benchmark and 67.5 percent less than a year earlier.
  • Estimated payments were $1.9 billion, or 26 percent below benchmark and 23 percent less than a year earlier.
  • Sales and use tax collections were $6.8 billion, or 6 percent below benchmark but 0.2 percent more than a year earlier.
  • Corporate and business tax collections were $2.9 billion, or 1.6 percent below benchmark and 12 percent less than a year earlier.

Larry Edelman can be reached at larry.edelman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeNewsEd.