The 11-member Tax Expenditure Commission has posted a wide array of materials on DOR’s website in an effort to make its work as transparent and accessible as possible.
What are tax expenditures? The introduction to the FY13 Tax Expenditure Budget puts it this way:
"In its simplest form, a tax is an across-the-board levy on a base, such as income, to which a specific rate applies and for which no modifications exist. Taxes are rarely levied in this manner, however. Instead, most state tax codes incorporate a number of exemptions, deductions, credits, and deferrals designed to encourage certain taxpayer activities or to limit the tax burden on certain types of individuals or endeavors. Known as 'tax expenditures', these provisions can have a significant impact on state tax revenues."
The FY13 Tax Expenditure Budget (TEB) is more than $26 billion, roughly $4 billion larger than projected FY13 revenues of nearly $22 billion. The Commonwealth collects less in revenue than it has chosen to forego.
The Commission is scheduled to issue a report by April 30. Agendas and minutes from Commission meetings are included on the web page, as are historic looks at TEBs from previous years and TEB's from other states.
The Commission unanimously approved a Statement of Principles (found on the agendas and minutes page) on Feb. 6 which makes it clear that the Commission believes tax expenditures merit regular scrutiny and should be subject to periodic cost-benefit analysis and review by the Executive and Legislative branches.
The eleven members of the commission are its chair, Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez, Auditor Suzanne Bump, Treasurer Steven Grossman, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Brian Dempsey, Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Stephen Brewer, House Revenue Committee Chair Jay Kaufman, Senate Revenue Committee Chair Katherine Clark, Rep. Steven Levy (designee of House Minority Leader Brad Jones), Sen. Michael Knapik (designee of Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr), Alan Clayton-Matthews (member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers), and James Stock (also a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic advisers).
MA Filing Extension to April 18th Announced posted on Apr 15
The Department of Revenue’s WebFile tool, which allows individuals to electronically file state personal income tax returns, has experienced delays due to heavy volume over the past few days. DOR is actively working to resolve this issue, and has extended the deadline for taxpayers to …Continue Reading MA Filing Extension to April 18th Announced
WARNING: Tax Lien Notices NOT issued by DOR Making the Rounds posted on Mar 13
Here’s another unfortunate addition to the list of financial things to protect yourself from. DOR has learned that letters of questionable origin are being sent to taxpayers with outstanding tax liens. Although these notices show amounts from actual tax liens, they are not from the Massachusetts …Continue Reading WARNING: Tax Lien Notices NOT issued by DOR Making the Rounds
Don’t Let a Hacker Steal YOUR Refund posted on Mar 11
There are some rabbit holes you definitely don’t want to fall down during tax season. One such hole, and an increasingly-common nightmarish scenario, is finding out your tax refund has been stolen. In a recent article, Allison Martin of Money Talk News was the bearer …Continue Reading Don’t Let a Hacker Steal YOUR Refund