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Massachusetts Personal Income Tax Laws

Individuals pay federal income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service every April 15th. Most U.S. states also levy personal income taxes on state residents. The few states that do not have an income tax makes up for the lack of revenue in other ways, often with higher sales taxes and property taxes.

Massachusetts' personal income tax laws are relatively straightforward: income is generally taxed at a 5.85 percent rate. As in many other states, partnerships are not subject to personal income tax. But, a "corporate trust" engaged in business in Massachusetts is taxed.

The following chart contains the most pertinent details of Massachusetts' personal income tax laws. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for and the links below for additional resources and articles.

Code Section

Massachusetts person income tax laws can be found in Chapter 62 of the Massachusetts General laws

Who is Required to File

The following people and entities must file personal income taxes in Massachusetts:

  • Individuals (including fiduciaries);
  • Estates of deceased Massachusetts inhabitants;
  • Nonresidents earning income in Massachusetts; and
  • A "corporate trust" engaged in business in Massachusetts is taxed.

Partnerships and S corporations do not pay personal income tax


Income is taxed at the following rates:

  • Interest and dividends: 5.3 percent;
  • Short term capital gains: 12 percent; and
  • All other income: 5.85 percent.

Federal Income Tax Deductible

No. Certain states allow a deduction on state personal income tax returns for the amount of federal income tax a taxpayer paid. Massachusetts does not permit his deduction.

If a taxpayer itemized federal deductions, however, he or she may be able to deduct the amount of state income taxes paid.

Federal Income Used as Basis

Yes. Personal income in Massachusetts is based on a taxpayer’s federal gross income as reported on federal income taxes. Federal gross adjusted income (AGI) is the total income a taxpayer reports less any eligible deductions or adjustments. Total income depends on the circumstances but includes income such as wages or earnings, spousal support, and interest on bank accounts.

Trying to understand your tax obligations can be confusing and overwhelming. You may consider contacting a tax professional, such as a Massachusetts tax law attorney, if you need assistance completing your income tax returns.  

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Related Resources for Personal Income Tax Laws:

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