Massachusetts Auto Excise Tax

The dreaded Massachusetts Auto Excise Tax.

I’ve been told “you couldn’t get away with that in Texas.” Here in Massachusetts, however, we suffer our annual auto excise tax.

Excise bills are prepared by the Registry of Motor Vehicles according to information on the registration. They are sent to city/town assessors who commit them to local tax collectors for distribution.

The Massachusetts excise tax rate is $25 per $1,000 of valuation (NADA) subject to the following percentage formula:

  • In the model year: 90%; second year: 60%; third year: 40%; fourth year: 25%; fifth year & beyond: 10%.

If you have turned in your plates on the vehicle you are getting excise taxed on, or if you have transferred plates and got rid of the vehicle, you may be eligible for abatement. Abatement instructions are located on your excise tax bill.

For what reasons may I get an abatement of a motor vehicle excise?

A taxpayer may file an abatement application and receive an abatement for any of the following reasons:

  1. Sale of the vehicle and cancellation of the registration or the trade of the subject vehicle for another;
  2. Transfer of the registrant and the vehicle to another state with proof of registration in that state and cancellation of the Massachusetts registration;
  3. Overvaluation of the vehicle;
  4. Subsequent registration of the same vehicle in the same year by the same person (e.g., vehicle is later registered with a Vanity Plate).
  5. Theft of the vehicle, if the local police authorities are notified within 48 hours of the discovery of the theft and the certificate of registration is surrendered not less than thirty days after the theft and the registrant has received a certificate of cancellation of registration signed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles or his authorized agent verifying that the subject vehicle was stolen.

Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Excise Abatement Application

MA Excise Abatement Form