We think and build.

Legal Law

Massachusetts Payroll, Unique Aspects of Massachusetts Payroll Law and Practice

The Massachusetts State Agency that oversees the collection and reporting of state income taxes deducted from payroll checks is:

revenue Department

sleeper street 51

Boston, MA 02205

(617) 887-6367

(800) 392-6089 (in-state)


Massachusetts allows the use of the federal form W-4 if the exemptions claimed are the same for the state and the federal government. Otherwise, you must use the “Massachusetts M4 Employee’s Withholding Exemption Certificate” for Massachusetts income tax withholding.

Not all states allow salary reductions made under Section 125 or 401(k) cafeteria plans to be treated in the same manner as the IRS code allows. In Massachusetts, cafeteria plans are not taxable for income tax purposes; taxable for unemployment insurance purposes. 401(k) plan deferrals are not subject to income taxes; taxable for unemployment purposes.

In Massachusetts, supplemental wages are required to be added for the calculation of state income tax withholding.

You must file your Massachusetts W-2 forms magnetically if you must file your federal W-2 forms magnetically.

The Massachusetts State Unemployment Insurance Agency is:

Employment Security Division

Charles F. Hurley Building.

19 Staniford St., 5th Floor DET

Boston, MA 02114-2589

(617) 626-6855


The Massachusetts state wage base for unemployment purposes is wages up to $14,000.00.

Massachusetts requires quarterly wage reporting magnetic media to be reported if the employer has at least 250 employees who are reporting that quarter.

Unemployment records must be kept in Massachusetts for a minimum period of four years. This information generally includes: name; Social Security number; hire, retirement and termination dates; wages per period; payroll periods and payment dates; termination date and circumstances.

The Massachusetts State Agency charged with enforcing state wage and hour laws is:

Department of Labor and Industries

Division of Fair Business and Labor Practices

200 Portland St.

Boston, MA 02114

(617) 727-3465


The minimum wage in Massachusetts is $6.75 per hour.

The general provision in Massachusetts regarding overtime pay at a non-FLSA covered employer is one and one-half times the regular rate after a 40-hour week.

The state of Massachusetts new hire reporting requirements are that every employer must report every new hire and hires and contractors over $600. The employer must report the elements required by the federal government of:

  • Name of the employee
  • lease or contract date
  • employee address
  • Employee Social Security Number
  • Name of the employee
  • Employee Address
  • Employer Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

This information must be reported within 14 days of hire or rehire.
Information can be submitted as W4 or equivalent by mail, fax or electronically.
There is a $25.00 fine for late reporting and $500 for conspiracy in Massachusetts.

You can contact the Massachusetts New Hire Reporting Agency by calling 800-332-2733 or 617-626-4154 or on the web at http://www.cse.state.ma.us/.

Massachusetts does not allow mandatory direct deposit.

Massachusetts requires the following information on an employee’s pay stub:

  • Gross and net earnings
  • Employer and employee name.
  • Payment date
  • amount and nature of deductions
  • increases
  • regular time and overtime pay
  • hours worked
  • item deductions

Massachusetts requires that the employee be paid biweekly or weekly; biweekly or biweekly for FLSA-exempt or salaried employees (monthly if they agree).

Massachusetts requires that the time lapse between the end of the pay period and the payment of wages to the employee must not exceed six days if the workweek is 5 or 6 days; 7 days after the pay period if the workweek is 7 days or less than 5 days.

Massachusetts payroll law requires that involuntarily terminated employees be paid their final pay immediately and voluntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay on the next regular payday (if none, the next Saturday ) or by mail if the employee requests it.

The deceased employee’s wages of $100 are due to the surviving spouse, adult child, or parent (in that order) 30 days after death and if there is no will.

Reversion laws in Massachusetts require that unclaimed wages be paid to the state after three years.

In addition, in Massachusetts the employer is required to keep a record of wages abandoned and turned over to the state for a period of 5 years.

Massachusetts payroll law states that no more than $4,125 may be used as a tip credit.

In Massachusetts, payroll laws covering mandatory breaks or meal breaks state that all employees must have a 30-minute break after six hours of work.

Massachusetts statute requires that wage and hour records be maintained for a period of not less than two years. These records will normally consist of at least the information required under the FLSA.

The Massachusetts agency charged with enforcing child support laws and orders is:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Division of Child Support Enforcement

sleeper street 51

post office box 9492

Boston, MA 02205-9492

(800) 332-2733


Massachusetts has the following provisions for child support deductions:

  • When to start withholding? Next payday more than 3 days after notice.
  • When to send the payment? Within 3 days of payment day.
  • When to send a termination notice? Within 3 days of payment day.
  • Maximum administrative fee? $1 per payment.
  • Retention limits? Federal Rules under CCPA.

Please note that this article is not updated for changes that may and will occur from time to time.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *