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Filing your income tax return lets the state know how much you made in the last year, what income tax you’ve already paid, and a bit about your personal situation. This helps the Department of Revenue (DOR) figure out if you need to pay more, or if you should get some money back as a tax refund.
If you live in Massachusetts and make more than $8,000, you have to file a tax return. But the rules are a little different if you work but don’t live in the state.
When it comes to filing your tax return, a little preparation goes a long way. Find out all the documents and information you’ll need to file your return, and don’t forget to check out tax law changes that could affect you. You should complete your federal tax return first.
Some of the documents you may need include:
Now that you’re ready to file, it’s time to check out your options.
Filing online is faster and more accurate than filing by paper. If you’re expecting a refund, you’ll get it sooner too. You can file online with tax preparation software approved by DOR. Many taxpayers can even e-file their taxes for free.
Can’t file online? Find out which forms you should use and where to send them. The form you use depends on whether you live in Massachusetts.
From tax prep software that asks you all the right questions to trained professionals who know the ins and outs of state tax law, there are plenty of resources to check out. You can even get tax help for free at sites across the state if you qualify.
Don’t think you’ll make the deadline to file your tax return? Don’t worry about it. DOR has made it even easier to get a 6-month extension. Pay most of your taxes by the original due date and get an automatic extension.
Say goodbye to WebFile for Income and hello to MassTaxConnect. Learn a bit more about DOR’s new online tax system. You can use MassTaxConnect to make a payment, see bills and notices from DOR, and more.
If you’re expecting a refund, you don’t have to sit in suspense. Now you can track your tax refund online through MassTaxConnect, or by calling DOR.
Remember — not everyone who files a tax return will get a refund. Your refund depends on what you make, what income tax you’ve paid, and personal details like living expenses, how many people your paycheck supports, and more.
When you file your tax return, you may find out that you actually owe more in income tax. This will probably be the case if income tax isn’t taken directly from your paychecks as income withholding.
If you owe income tax, you can pay it right away when you file your return online, or you can pay later through MassTaxConnect. Just make sure you don’t miss the deadline.
Massachusetts offers plenty of tax credits to help you reduce your tax bill or get your refund.
If you worked but made less than $15,000 in the last year, or less than $50,000 if you have children at home, you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – even if you don’t have to pay income tax.
You have to file federal and state tax returns to claim this credit, even if you aren’t required to file otherwise.
If you’re 65 or older and you own or rent a home in Massachusetts, you may be able to get a tax credit of up to $1,070 for the real estate taxes you pay to your city or town.
You have to file a state tax return to claim this credit, even if you aren’t required to file otherwise.