Major 2012 Tax Law Changes
The income tax rate for income attributable to
Massachusetts has been reduced from 8.25% to
Who Must File and Pay Corporate Excise?
The purpose of the corporate excise is to require
payment for the right granted by the laws of the
Commonwealth to exist as a corporation and for
the enjoyment under the protection of the Commonwealth’s
laws of the powers, rights, privileges
and immunities derived by reason of the corporate
form of existence and operation. The corporate excise
is due and payable when any of the following
conditions are met:
◗ the corporation actually does business within
◗ the corporation exercises its charter within the
◗ the corporation owns or uses any part of its
capital, plant or other property in the Commonwealth;
◗ the corporation owns and/or rents real or tangible
personal property as a lessor in Massachusetts
even without having a usual place of business
Corporations which must file and pay corporate excise
include any corporation which:
◗ is organized under, or subject to, Chapters 156,
156A, 156B or 180 of Massachusetts General
Laws (M.G.L.); or
◗ has privileges, powers, rights or immunities not
possessed by individuals or partnerships.
The following corporations are not obligated to file:
◗ corporations organized under the provision of
M.G.L. Ch. 157, sec. 10.
Which Form Should Be Filed?
Businesses which are incorporated under the
laws of the Commonwealth or businesses doing
business in Massachusetts but incorporated elsewhere should file Form 355.
A corporation organized in Massachusetts is eligible
to use the simpler Form SBC if it met all of the
following conditions during the taxable year:
◗ had gross receipts or sales, and total income
◗ had 100% of its net income taxable in Massachusetts
and was not subject to corporate tax in
◗ was not a DISC, an S corporation or a security
◗ is not claiming any credits, special deductions
or adjustments against its Massachusetts corporate
◗ does not own 50% or more of the voting stock of
another corporation and did not have 50% or more
of its voting stock owned by another corporation.
The Department of Revenue also has the following
tax forms to meet the unique filing needs
of combined filers, security corporations and S
Corporations which are participating in a combined
report of their net income to Massachusetts must
file Form 355U. Beginning in 2011, most combined
report filers will also pay the non-income
measure of excise when filing the 355U; combined
report filers are not required to also file a Form
355 unless their taxable year ends at a different
time than the taxable year of the combined report.
See the instructions for the Registration Section,
question number 5 for further information.
Corporations engaged exclusively in buying, selling,
dealing in or holding securities on their own
behalf and not as brokers must file Form 355SC.
S corporations which are incorporated under the
laws of the Commonwealth or S corporations doing
business in Massachusetts but incorporated elsewhere
should file Form 355S.
If a corporation files Form 355, 355U, 355S or
355SC, the return must be submitted electronically
provided that gross revenues from all
sources are $100,000 or greater. Failure to submit
the return electronically may result in a
penalty of $100. For further information on electronic
filing requirements, see TIRs 04-30 and
Corporations amending an originally filed corporation
excise return with respect to federal net income
should file Form CA-6, Application for Abatement/