Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo today announced additional administrative tax relief measures for local businesses that have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors.
This tax relief builds upon previous similar tax extensions and includes postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes for small businesses that would be due from March through August, so that they will instead be due in September. Additionally, all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply will be waived.
“We are proud to join our colleagues in the Legislature to announce this additional relief for local businesses throughout Massachusetts while we all continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and work to protect the health and safety of the Commonwealth’s residents,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These administrative changes extend tax relief measures put into place earlier in March and will allow additional support for local companies including small businesses in the restaurant and hospitality industries.”
“The Commonwealth is carrying out a historic response to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We continue to seek ways to provide local businesses with tools, resources, and support to help reopen the Massachusetts economy while also ensuring key public health measures are in place.”
“From the start of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Senate has actively sought to act quickly, creatively and collaboratively to mitigate the effects of this pandemic,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “This tax collection adjustment is an example of this willingness to change the way we do business during these extraordinary times, and will help ease the burden restaurants face as they restart and recover.”
“The House has been proud to provide local businesses with a toolkit of resources to help them weather the economic realities resulting from COVID,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “In addition to the House’s multifaceted restaurant relief package, we believe that a deferral of tax collections will provide the restaurant and hospitality industry with a measure of stability and clarity.”
Businesses that paid less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief for sales and meals taxes, and businesses that paid less than $150,000 in room occupancy taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief with respect to room occupancy taxes.
For businesses with meals tax and room occupancy tax obligations that do not otherwise qualify for this relief, late-file and late-pay penalties will be waived during this period.
The Department of Revenue will issue emergency regulations and a Technical Information Release to implement these administrative relief measures.