Oct 12, 2022 - News

How to calculate your projected Massachusetts tax rebate

Massachusetts' tax refund calculator on the state website

The Massachusetts goverment website has a tax refund calculator because of the automatic tax refund law. Screenshot

Massachusetts plans to send millions of residents some parts of $2.9 billion in surplus tax revenue, thanks to a 1986 law.

  • But the only way to see what slice of that pie is yours is to run your tax information through the state's tax refund calculator (and, yes, tracking down your months-old tax return file).
  • So I'll show you how I calculated my projected refund in hopes of making it easier.

The intrigue: Each refund is roughly 13% of what you owed on your 2021 taxes, but how many taxpayers actually know how much that is? I know I didn't.

But, first: A few caveats.

  • My form is for the one for full-year residents, so the one for part-year residents could look different than what I'm about to share.
  • These are preliminary estimates, so the number the calculator spits out could look different than what you'll actually receive.

Be smart: Have your 2021 tax return filing handy.

  • Skip the Form 1040 and the health savings accounts attachment (Form 8889). You’ll only need Form 1.

How it works: Above the online tax refund calculator, select "yes" on the left for full-year resident, or "no" on the right for part-year resident. The rest comes from your tax return.

  • On the Form 1, page 3, look for Line 32 or "Income Tax After Credits."
Lines items from a 2021 Massachusetts tax return

Next are the tax credits on lines 43-47 (Form 1, page 4).

  • My line items are blank because I have no children, and I'm not a senior, among other things.
  • If you claimed tax credits in 2022 for being a senior, having children or anything else those line items mention, you’ll see the amount on the right and can punch it into the state’s calculator.
Lines from a Massachusetts 2021 tax return

Hit see estimated refund, and the calculator will spit out a number.

  • For my partner and me, whose joint income was nearly $108,000, the estimated rebate was $573.

But, but, but: You might get less back if you owe the government unpaid taxes, unpaid child support or other debts.

The results from the Massachusetts tax refund calculator

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