Massachusetts State Tax Guide

Massachusetts tax rates and rules for income, sales, property, fuel, cigarette, and other taxes that impact residents.

picture of Massachusetts flag for Massachusetts state tax guide
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Massachusetts State Tax: Overview

Massachusetts has a flat personal income tax rate of 5% of federal adjusted gross income. Beginning in 2023, an additional 4% tax is imposed on income over $1 million. Property taxes in Massachusetts are relatively high and the commonwealth has an estate tax as well. But sales taxes in Massachusetts are relatively low.

Massachusetts Income Taxes

Massachusetts has a flat rate of 5% of federal adjusted gross income. (Note: On November 8, 2022, Massachusetts voters approved a constitutional amendment to add an additional 4% tax on taxable income over $1 million starting in 2023.)

  • Social Security benefits are not taxed by Massachusetts.
  • Income from the contributory federal government, Massachusetts state, and Massachusetts local government retirement plans is exempt. Income from noncontributory military retirement plans is also exempt. In addition, a deduction is available for contributory pension income from other state or local governments that do not tax Massachusetts public pensions.
  • Railroad Retirement benefits are also exempt.

Massachusetts Sales Tax

Massachusetts has a 6.25% state-level sales tax. There are no local sales taxes.

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  • Groceries: Exempt
  • Clothing: Exempt if under $175
  • Motor Vehicles: Taxable
  • Prescription Drugs: Exempt

What are Property Taxes in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, average property taxes are paid about 1.14% of assessed home value, according to the Tax Foundation.

Massachusetts Property Tax Breaks for Retirees

Massachusetts homeowners and renters who are 65 or older may qualify to claim a refundable "circuit breaker" tax credit on their state income taxes to offset real estate taxes or rent paid during the year on their principal home.

Massachusetts Gas (Motor Fuel) Taxes

Gasoline: 24 cents per gallon.

Diesel: 24 cents per gallon.

Massachusetts Taxes on Alchohol and Tobacco

Cigarettes and little cigars: $3.51 per pack of 20

Snuff: 210% of the wholesale price

Chewing tobacco: 210% of the wholesale price

Other tobacco products: 40% of the wholesale price

Vapor products: 75% of the wholesale price

Source: Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Beer: An excise tax of $0.11 per gallon in 2022.

Wine: $0.55 per gallon

Liquor: $4.05 per gallon

Alcohol sales are exempt from sales tax.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Marijuana: 10.75% excise tax; up to 3% local option taxes may also be due. the 6.25% Massachusetts sales tax also applies. There is no excise tax on medical marijuana sales in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Estate and Inheritance Taxes

  • Estates valued at more than $1 million may be subject to a Massachusetts estate tax. Tax rates range from 0.8% to 16%. 
  • There is an unlimited marital deduction for property left to a surviving spouse and an unlimited charitable deduction for property left to a qualified charity.

Read More on Massachusetts

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.

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