Guide

Filing your Massachusetts personal income tax return

The income tax you pay helps Massachusetts thrive — paying for schools, streets, and services that support our communities. Whether you’re a first-time filer or just need some reminders, this guide will walk you through the process of filing your state tax return.

Do I need to file?

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.  

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Who needs to file a state income tax return  

How can I prepare?

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:

  • Last year’s tax return
  • W2 or 1099-MISC forms that show your income
  • Proof of health insurance

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Get ready to file your Massachusetts personal income tax return 

How do I file my tax return?

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.

 

Forms

Form 1 instructions ( 653.53 KB)

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File your Massachusetts personal income tax return 

Where can I get help with my return?

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.

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Get help filing your Massachusetts income tax return 

What if I need more time?

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.

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Get an extension on your Massachusetts income tax return  

Meet MassTaxConnect

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.

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Learn about MassTaxConnect for individual taxpayers  

Where's that refund?

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.

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Check the status of your Massachusetts income tax refund  

How do I pay my income tax bill?

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.  

Forms

PV - Payment voucher ( 53.72 KB)

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Pay your personal income tax bill  

Can I get the Earned Income Tax Credit?

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.

Learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit  

Can I get the Circuit Breaker Credit?

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.

Forms

Learn about the Circuit Breaker Credit 

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