To qualify for Mass. tax refund, you need to meet this upcoming deadline

A crucial tax deadline next month could be the deciding factor on whether Bay Staters qualify to receive hundreds, or possibly thousands, of dollars back in a tax refund from Massachusetts.

While state officials issued broad eligibility parameters for the distribution of nearly $3 billion in excess state tax revenues, they have also zeroed in on one specific requirement: People must file their 2021 state tax returns on or before the extension due date of Oct. 17. That’s also the deadline to pay any outstanding taxes, according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

State officials say both resident and non-resident filers are eligible for the tax refund, as are fiduciary filers like trusts and estates. Non-residents involved in partnerships are also eligible if their taxes are filed on a composite basis.

  • Read more: Am I eligible for the Massachusetts tax refund this fall? Here’s the criteria

About 90% of taxpayers file their state income tax returns electronically, officials say.

The state has compiled these resources for free e-filing options. They include 1040Now for Massachusetts residents who earn $32,000 or less and FreeTaxUSA for people who make $41,000 or less.

People can file their income tax returns for free on MassTaxConnect.

Individuals and businesses struggling to cover all of their outstanding taxes are able to request payment agreements from the Department of Revenue.

  • Read more: More Mass. tax relief? Lawmakers return to summer bill that faltered

The agreement can span up to 36 months for tax liabilities of $5,000 or less, according to a state webpage. There’s no set timeline for tax liabilities exceeding $5,001, as long taxpayers comply with their agreement.

Bay Staters with questions about filing taxes can call the state’s Tax Department from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Reach the call center at 617-887-6367 or 800-392-6089.