DOR: Flat Tax Collections Influenced By Payment Timing

December is Typically “A Significant Month for Revenues”

State tax collectors hauled in $3.839 billion in December, pushing the state’s coffers to more than $1 billion over expectations at the halfway point of fiscal year 2023.

The Department of Revenue, which is still under the leadership of former Gov. Charlie Baker’s commissioner Geoffrey Snyder, announced Thursday that last month’s collections were $398 million or 9.4 percent less than the actual collections from December 2021, but were $333 million or 9.5 percent above the monthly benchmark. DOR said December is “a significant month for revenues” that usually generates about 9.5 percent of the state’s annual take.

“December collections decreased in non-withholding income tax, corporate and business tax and ‘all other tax’ in comparison to December 2021,” Snyder said. “These decreases were partially offset by increases in withholding income tax and sales and use tax. The decrease in non-withholding is mostly due to the timing of the receipt of [pass-through entity] excise payments. The elective PTE excise was enacted in September 2021. As a result, many PTEs paid their 2021 excise taxes in December so PTE members could claim a deduction on their 2021 federal return. This year, however, PTEs can make their excise payments more evenly throughout the year while still allowing members to claim a deduction on their 2022 federal return. The decrease in corporate and business tax is due to an increase in refunds and the decrease in ‘all other tax’ is primarily attributable to estate tax, a tax category that tends to fluctuate. The increase in withholding is likely related to labor market conditions and the increase in sales and use tax reflects, in part, continued strength in retail sales.”

Six month through fiscal year 2023, the state has collected $17.789 billion from residents, workers and businesses — $56 million or 0.3 percent less than what was collected in the same period of fiscal 2022, but $1.087 billion or 6.5 percent more than the year-to-date expectation.

January tax receipts are due from DOR by Feb. 3 and the monthly benchmark has been set at $4.019 billion. 

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