Massachusetts does not require an annual tax report from those who made less than the minimum filing requirement or had no income at all, see Who Must File. If you do not have a filing requirement but had taxes withheld from your income, the only way you can get your money back is to file a Massachusetts tax return and get a refund. 

If you're a full-year resident with an annual Massachusetts gross income of more than $8,000, you must file a Massachusetts tax return.

If you're a part-year resident with an annual Massachusetts gross income of more than $8,000, you must file a Massachusetts tax return.

If you're a nonresident with an annual Massachusetts gross income of more than either $8,000 or the prorated personal exemption, whichever is less, you must file a Massachusetts tax return. 

Your legal and residency status in Massachusetts affects how you file your taxes. Find out what you should file and how to report your income.

Your domicile, or legal residence, is your true home or main residence. You may have multiple residences at one time, but only 1 domicile. You can't choose to make your home one place for general living purposes and in another for tax purposes. Your legal residence is usually where you maintain your most important family, social, economic, political, and religious ties, and it depends on all the facts and circumstances per case, including good faith. A minor's domicile is the same as that of the parent or guardian who has lawful custody of the child.

  • You are a full-year resident if your residence (domicile) was in Massachusetts for the entire taxable year or if you maintained a permanent place of abode in Massachusetts and during the year spent more than 183 days, in the aggregate, in the state. If you fit this description, you should file Form 1, Massachusetts Resident Income Tax Return. 
  • You are a part-year resident if, during the taxable year, you moved to Massachusetts or established a permanent place of abode here and became a resident, or you terminated your status as a Massachusetts resident to establish a residence outside the state. Part-year residents must file Form 1 - NR/PY, Massachusetts Nonresident/Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return.
  • You are a nonresident if you are not a resident of Massachusetts as defined above but received Massachusetts source income (e.g. from a job in Massachusetts). You must report such income by filing Form 1 - NR/PY, Massachusetts Nonresident/Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return.

A "permanent place of abode" is a dwelling place that someone, not necessarily the owner, continually maintains. This includes a place owned or leased by a spouse. A permanent place of abode generally will not include:

  • A camp, military barracks and housing, dormitory room, hospital room or room in any other similar temporary institutional setting;
  • A university owned studio apartment available only to a university affiliated student, faculty and staff.

2023 Massachusetts individual income tax filing deadline is April 17, 2024

April 15, 2024, when returns and payments would normally be due, is Patriots' Day, a legal holiday in the Commonwealth, and April 16, 2024 is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington, D.C. As a result, returns, payments made with returns, and estimated payments otherwise due on April 15, 2024, will be treated as timely if they are filed and/or paid on or before April 17, 2024.

Generally, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) provides individual taxpayers an automatic 6-month extension of time to file their tax returns as long as you have paid at least 80% of the total amount of tax due on or before the payment due date, and you're filing Form 1 or Form 1-NR/PY. If a return does not have a tax due and is not filed by the due date, this return will be granted an automatic extension until October 15, 2024 (no further action is needed for the extension). You can file your return anytime during the extension period. An extension is an extension of time to file not to pay, any amount due will incur interest even if a valid extension is on file. 

There are no zero extensions, a payment must be made in order to file an extension. In order for an income extension to be valid, at least 80% of the tax liability must be paid on or before the due date through payments, withholding, and credits. Personal income tax extensions must be filed on or before the due date and will not be accepted after midnight on that date. 

If an extension payment is required to reach the 80% threshold, taxpayers are encouraged to pay electronically using MassTaxConnect. Paper extensions are filed on Form M-4868 for individuals. An individual taxpayer who is required to pay $5,000 or more to qualify for an extension must make the payment electronically.  

Visit Check the status of your refund on MassTaxConnect or call (617) 887-6367 or toll-free in Massachusetts (800) 392-6089. 

Refund Timeline

  • E-filed Return takes about 4-6 weeks for direct deposit requests. If a paper check was
    requested, add another week.
  • Paper Return takes about 8-10 weeks for direct deposit requests. If a paper check was
    requested, add another week.

More information: 

Other States

If you lived or worked in more than one state during the preceding calendar year, you may be required to file a state tax return in each state. If you made income in another state and would like to know about that state's filing requirements, please see state's website for details