Tax Law

Out of Time: Massachusetts Dismisses Taxpayer’s Attempt to Seek Refund as Untimely

Massachusetts Court of Appeals held that a taxpayer could not rely on timely applications for refund of deficiency assessments to also seek refund resulting from alleged overstatement of sales factor in corresponding years’ returns, where the initial application for abatement did not include the sales factor argument and statute of limitations had since lapsed.

The Court of Appeals concluded that the taxpayer’s deficiency assessments only encompassed the stated amounts in the notices of deficiency assessment, not any differences between the amounts the taxpayer self-reported on its returns for the appealed years and the amounts “properly due.” The taxpayer sought to broaden the scope of its deficiency assessments appeals to also seek a refund for taxes paid because of an overstated sales factor. The Court of Appeals concluded that because the taxpayer had never applied for an abatement of the tax originally reported on the return, any challenge to the original self-assessment was time-barred.


Raytheon Co. v. Commissioner of Revenue, Case Nos. 18-P-790 and 18-P-1468, Mass. Court of Appeal (September 12, 2019)