Getting Answers: state begins issuing refunds to taxpayers

Getting Answers: state begins issuing refunds to taxpayers
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 3:29 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Taxpayers throughout the state are starting to see a little extra money in their wallets thanks to a rarely used tax code that said Massachusetts must return some excess tax revenue back to the people.

“I personally think the money could have stayed with the government and they could have figured out some need for it, but on the other hand, I am willing to accept it,” said Linda Olberis of Chicopee.

Olberis told us she was happy to receive a little extra money ahead of the holiday season. She is one of the 40 percent of eligible state taxpayers who has already received a check from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

An estimated 3.6 million Massachusetts taxpayers are expected to receive a small percentage of their 2021 state taxes back and as AIC Economic Professor John Rogers explained, a rarely used tax code is to thank for the extra cash making its way to taxpayers.

“This was a little bit of a surprise. There was law that was passed back in the 1980s which said that if state taxes exceeded a certain amount, the excess would be returned to the taxpayers and it happened once in 1992, but it hasn’t happened since then, so it kinda took everyone by surprise,” Rogers explained.

Rogers told Western Mass News anyone who filed taxes in Massachusetts could be entitled to a refund either in the mail or through a direct deposit, but there is no one-size-fits-all. Instead, taxpayers are entitled to up to 14-percent of their 2021 state tax liability, which means the average household could expect to see around $530.

Local accountant Tom Murrow told Western Mass News how you can figure out how much you could be getting back.

“You can figure that out by looking at Line 32 and whatever that number is, multiply it by 14 percent and that is the number you should expect to receive,” Murrow said.

He said the state is sending out refunds on a weekly basis, so if you are eligible and haven’t received anything quite yet, Murrow said you’ll just need to wait a little longer.

“My brother came to me and said, ‘Hey, do you know about this tax money’ and I was like ‘What tax money?’ I had no idea. No information on anything…but as long as we are not being taxed or anything for it, it’s a win-win for all of us. Hopefully it will benefit a lot of people, especially here in the city of Springfield,” said Jose Mederos of Dorchester.

If you haven’t filed your 2021 state taxes, it is not too late to still qualify for the refund. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has extended the date for when you can file. You’ll now have until September 15, 2023 to file your 2021 state taxes and still qualify for this refund.