Speaker DeLeo’s Endorsement
During his prepared remarks at the Chamber’s March 15 Government Affairs Forum this month, Speaker DeLeo stressed the need for state tax administration reform in order to improve the Massachusetts economy and strengthen the relationship between business and government. Specifically, he endorsed proposals to:
- Require the DOR to regularly publish reports on its prospective tax policies, in order to improve transparency and enhance early taxpayer input on such policies; and
- Shorten audit cycles by waiving taxpayer penalties for substantial underpayment of taxes (Ch. 62C, Sec. 35A) if the DOR fails to complete an audit within 18 months.
DOR Tax Policy Development Website
The Speaker’s endorsement follows the March 3 launch of a DOR website featuring public written statements on tax policies that are currently under development. Prior to the launch of the site, there was no requirement that taxpayers receive prior notice of tax policy changes being worked on by the DOR.
The Chamber is pleased to have played a key role in advancing this important issue. However, some differences remain between the Chamber proposal and the DOR site, primarily around the frequency with which the issues on the site are updated and the amount of information on each issue that is required to be posted. As a result, the Chamber plans to continue to pursue its stronger version of the tax policy development site as contained in the Business Tax Reform bill and endorsed by the Speaker.