Tax filing deadline approaching


The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) is reminding taxpayers that the deadline to file both federal and state income tax returns is Wednesday, July 15. This date is 90 days after the original April 15 deadline, which was pushed back due to COVID-19.

Taxpayers can file for returns online with free electronic-fillable forms, or through the mail. Electronic filing options can be found on the DOR’s website.

“The department encourages all Massachusetts taxpayers to utilize the DOR website and review options for filing their state income taxes,” said DOR Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder. “To date, more than 90 percent of Massachusetts taxpayers who have filed their 2019 income taxes have done so electronically. Given social distancing requirements and remote working conditions, electronic filing remains a safe and secure option for refund processing.”

The secretary of the treasury announced the 90-day extension for tax payments on March 20. This allowed any taxpayer, other than a C corporation, to postpone payment of up to $1 million of income tax payments until the July 15 deadline. C corporations can postpone payment up to $10 million of income tax payments. This deferral only applies to 2019 return payments and 2020 estimated tax payments.

The Internal Revenue Service will provide free tax help with federal and state taxes for lower-income taxpayers and senior citizens. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides assistance to taxpayers with an annual income of $56,000 or less, those with disabilities, as well as taxpayers with limited or no English language proficiency. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program provides free tax help to taxpayers who are 60 and older.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, only some in-person services are available. Taxpayers who qualify for a free tax-preparation program should check directly with local VITA and TCE sites.

The Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has increased from 23 to 30 percent of the federal credit. People who are residents of the commonwealth for at least part of the taxable year and file a tax return are eligible to claim Massachusetts EITC.

Taxpayers must file taxes electronically or through the mail with a postmark before midnight on July 15. More information on forms, instructions, and tips are available on the DOR’s website.