Post Content

A local news outlet recently contacted DOR with a question concerning the law governing refund of the sales tax on an item returned to a vendor or retailer.

The law is pretty straightforward: Retailers must refund the sales tax within 90 days of purchase of the item, as long as the consumer has the sales receipt or the retailer is able to verify the purchase from their store in Massachusetts.

After 90 days, the retailer may still return an amount equal to the sales tax, but the state is no longer required to in turn credit or refund the collected sales tax to the retailer, so if the retailer does return the sales tax in this instance, it is coming out of their own pocket.

As for refunding the purchase price, that is set by the retailer's policy. Some retailers will not refund the sales prices after 30 or 60 days or in the case of "final sales"; in that case the customer is generally not entitled to a refund of either the purchase price of the sales tax after that number of days.

Keep in mind the law says refunding the sales tax must be done within 90 days; but if the retailer sets a policy that all returns must be made within 30 days or 60 days, that time limit governs refund of the sales tax as well.

However, if a retailer's return policy permits a partial refund within 90 days as the result of deducting an "established handling fee," the customer is entitled to a full refund of sales tax paid. This issue was highlighted in a letter ruling issued by DOR on May 26 of this year.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Your Mass State Taxes Made Easier posted on Mar 9

Your Mass State Taxes Made Easier

With the tax season now in full swing, there are several resources at your fingertips to make filing your taxes hassle-free. Enhanced Website Earlier this year, we launched a new DOR homepage, making it faster now to find exactly what you need to file and   …Continue Reading Your Mass State Taxes Made Easier

3 Steps to Catch Up on Back MA Taxes While Avoiding Penalties posted on Mar 4

3 Steps to Catch Up on Back MA Taxes While Avoiding Penalties

Watching a game-winning goal in overtime is as exciting as hockey gets. With DOR’s MA TAX AMNESTY 2016, you can stay out of the penalty box by paying only what you owe. Read on to find out more. What is MA TAX AMNESTY 2016? It’s   …Continue Reading 3 Steps to Catch Up on Back MA Taxes While Avoiding Penalties

EITC – Helping Low and Moderate Income Families in MA posted on Jan 29

EITC, also known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, has been helping low to moderate income families in Massachusetts and across the country for over 40 years. In recent months, Governor Charlie Baker and members of the Legislature have worked hard to ensure that working   …Continue Reading EITC – Helping Low and Moderate Income Families in MA