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MA DOR Releases Late-File Penalty Relief

March 10, 2017

Though C corporation tax return deadlines have been changed at the federal level to April 18, Massachusetts has not conformed yet—meaning their returns are still due March 15th. Find out how late filings will be treated.

The late-file penalty for corporate taxpayers in MA has been affected by the recent change in federal tax return due dates. For taxpayers in Massachusetts affected by the change in federal tax return due dates, Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) has announced that they generally anticipate waiving late-file penalties that might otherwise apply.

Refresher on updated deadlines

The IRS changed the due date for filing calendar year C corporation returns from March 15 to April 15 (effective for 2016 filings). However, the MA legislature did not pass a law conforming to the Federal change so as a result the due date for filing tax returns in the Commonwealth falls before the new federal due date, meaning it remains March 15th.

The Department of Revenue’s Response

The DOR, in response to this, says it will generally waive any late-file penalties in connection with a C corp tax return that is filed after state due date, but on or before the due date for the corporation’s federal tax return. This applies only to Massachusetts C corporation tax returns filed between March 15 and April 15, 2017. The guidance can be accessed here: TIR 17-3.

So....has the existing MA rule governing valid extensions changed?

No. In order to receive an extension of time to file, a corporation (who files on a calendar year basis) must pay on or before March 15. A minimum of 50% of the total tax due is required to be paid on or before 3/15.

Will the DOR waive interest charges or penalties for taxes paid after March 15th?

Payment (due with the return) remains due on the date set forth by state law, so it is crucial to note that the DOR will not waive interest or penalties for late payments.

Questions on filing and this change? Reach out to our Tax Services Team.

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