Massachusetts tax filing deadline could be extended to May 17 under COVID-19 relief bill for businesses and workers

Workers in Massachusetts could get their state taxes extended this year.

The Massachusetts Senate has brought forward a proposal to extend the state’s tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17, including it in the $ 351 million COVID-19 relief bill for companies and workers. The Senate adopted the bill, H. 90, unanimously Thursday afternoon.

“We had to get there,” Senate President Karen Spilka told reporters after the vote. “People are already filing their taxes. Businesses declare their taxes.

Shortly before the start of the Senate session, Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano announced that they had agreed to propose an extension of the state tax filing deadline following the ruling. from the Internal Revenue Service Wednesday night of extend the federal filing deadline.

“This fiscal flexibility, which was also authorized last year by the legislature, will provide stability and ensure residents have time to prepare and file as we continue to withstand the impacts of the pandemic,” Spilka said and Mariano in a joint statement.

The Senate and the House must reconcile the differences between the Senate bill and the version House adopted last week before the bill is put to the final vote.

The law project, H. 90, makes several changes to the unemployment rate schedule, state tax code, and paid vacation policies during the pandemic – an issue Spilka highlighted as a Senate priority in his inaugural address.

“They deserve it,” the Ashland Democrat said, referring to paid leave policies for workers. “They put themselves on the front line.

Employers should let workers use paid sick leave if they are exposed or tested positive for COVID-19, as well as if they are vaccinated or do not feel well after a COVID-19 injection. Employees may also be entitled to paid time off if they need to care for a family member with COVID-19.

The proposal would also freeze the unemployment rate for 2021 and 2022, allowing state borrowing to take out the state unemployment trust fund, and provide credit to taxpayers who hit unemployment and earn 200% in below the federal poverty line.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, a Republican from Gloucester, called the passage of the unemployment bill “an extremely important step” for the state’s workforce.

“This will ease the tax burden on businesses that need the resources to rebuild and revitalize and help employees achieve the financial stability that can be elusive in these difficult times,” said Tarr.

Tarr and several state lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, have pushed for changes to the state’s tax code that would allow the state to exempt Paycheck Protection Program loans from gross taxable income.

The $ 900 billion stimulus bill passed by Congress in December changed federal tax codes so that companies with canceled PPP loans could exclude those funds from their gross income. These companies could already claim deductions on expenses they paid with PPP money, meaning that the stimulus bill effectively gave recipients with canceled loans a “Double advantage” as some tax experts describe it.

Massachusetts complies with the federal corporate tax code but not the personal income tax code, meaning Massachusetts corporations could claim the so-called double benefit in their state taxes, but small ones not. companies that declare individual taxes.

“As we slowly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud of the collective action taken by the Senate and the House to pass this comprehensive bill that strikes a balance to help businesses, workers and revive a fair recovery for our Commonwealth, ”Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman Michael Rodrigues, a Democrat from Westport, said in a statement Thursday evening. “With more people getting vaccinated every day and our economy reopening, this bill will bring much-needed relief to small businesses, keep our essential front-line workers safe, and target tax breaks to help families move forward.” low income who lost their jobs during this pandemic. “

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