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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 38N: Economic development incentive program; tax credit for certified projects

[ Text of section effective until August 10, 2016. For text effective August 10, 2016, see below.]

  Section 38N. (a) A corporation subject to tax under this chapter that participates in a certified project, as defined in sections 3A and 3F of chapter 23A, may take a credit against the excise imposed by this chapter to the extent authorized by the economic assistance coordinating council established by section 3B of said chapter 23A, in an amount not to exceed 50 per cent of such liability in a taxable year; provided, however, that the 50 per cent limitation shall not apply if the credit is refundable under subsection (b): (i) for certified expansion projects and certified enhanced expansion projects, as defined in said sections 3A and 3F of said chapter 23A, an amount up to 10 per cent; (ii) for certified manufacturing retention projects, as defined in said sections 3A and 3F of said chapter 23A, an amount up to 40 per cent of the cost of any property that would qualify for the credit allowed by section 31A if the property were purchased by a manufacturing corporation or a business corporation engaged primarily in research and development and is used exclusively in a certified project, as defined in said sections 3A and 3F of said chapter 23A; and, (iii) for certified job creation projects, as defined in said sections 3A and 3F of said chapter 23A, an amount up to $1,000 per job created, or up to $5,000 per job created in a gateway municipality as defined by section 3A of chapter 23A or within a city or town whose average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, as reported by the executive office of labor and workforce development, is higher than the average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of the commonwealth; provided, however, that the total award per project shall be no more than $1,000,000; and further provided that a credit under this clause (iii) shall be allowed only for the year subsequent to that in which the jobs are created. A lessee may be eligible for a credit under this subsection for real property leased under an operating lease.

  The total amount of credits that may be authorized by the economic assistance coordinating council in a calendar year under subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 and this section shall not exceed an annual cap equal to $30,000,000 minus the credits granted and carryforwards of credits from prior years under subsection (5) of section 38BB of this chapter and paragraph (5) of subsection (q) of section 6 of chapter 62 and shall include: (1) refundable credits granted during the year under said subsection (g) of said section 6 of said chapter 62 or this section; (2) nonrefundable credits granted during the year under said subsection (g) of said section 6 of said chapter 62 or this section, to the extent that such nonrefundable credits are estimated by the commissioner to offset tax liabilities during the year; and (3) carryforwards of credits from prior years under said subsection (g) of said section 6 of said chapter 62 or this section, to the extent that such credit carryforwards are estimated by the commissioner to offset tax liabilities during the year. Of these allowable credits, the economic assistance coordinating council may award not more than $5,000,000 in a calendar year to certified enhanced expansion projects, as defined in sections 3A and 3F of chapter 23A, and not more than $5,000,000 for certified manufacturing retention projects, as defined in said sections 3A and 3F of said chapter 23A. Any portion of the annual cap not awarded by the economic assistance coordinating council in a calendar year shall not be applied to awards in a subsequent year. The economic assistance coordinating council shall provide the commissioner with any documentation that the commissioner deems necessary to confirm compliance with the annual cap and the commissioner shall provide a report confirming compliance with the annual cap to the secretary of administration and finance and the secretary of housing and economic development.

[ Second paragraph of paragraph (a) as amended by 2014, 287, Sec. 56A effective January 1, 2019 does not take effect. See 2014, 287, Sec. 125 as amended by 2014, 359, Sec. 65. See also, 2016, 219, Sec. 85.]

  The total amount of credits that may be authorized by the economic assistance coordinating council in a calendar year under subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 and this section shall not exceed an annual cap equal to $25,000,000 minus the credits granted and carryforwards of credits from prior years under subsection (5) of section 38BB of this chapter and paragraph (5) of subsection (q) of section 6 of chapter 62 and shall include: (1) refundable credits granted during the year under said subsection (g) of said section 6 of said chapter 62 or this section; (2) nonrefundable credits granted during the year under said subsection (g) of said section 6 of said chapter 62 or this section, to the extent that such nonrefundable credits are estimated by the commissioner to offset tax liabilities during the year; and (3) carryforwards of credits from prior years under said subsection (g) of said section 6 of said chapter 62 or this section, to the extent that such credit carryforwards are estimated by the commissioner to offset tax liabilities during the year. Of these allowable credits, the economic assistance coordinating council may award not more than $5,000,000 in a calendar year to certified enhanced expansion projects, as defined in sections 3A and 3F of chapter 23A, and not more than $5,000,000 for certified manufacturing retention projects, as defined in said sections 3A and 3F of said chapter 23A. Any portion of the annual cap not awarded by the economic assistance coordinating council in a calendar year shall not be applied to awards in a subsequent year. The economic assistance coordinating council shall provide the commissioner with any documentation that the commissioner deems necessary to confirm compliance with the annual cap and the commissioner shall provide a report confirming compliance with the annual cap to the secretary of administration and finance and the secretary of housing and economic development.

  The credit allowed under this section may be taken by an eligible corporation; provided, however, that the credit allowed by section 31A or section 31H shall not be taken by such corporation. For purposes of this paragraph, the corporation need not be a manufacturing corporation or a business corporation engaged primarily in research and development. If such property is disposed of or ceases to be in qualified use within the meaning of section 31A or ceases to be used exclusively in a certified project before the end of the certified project's certification period, or if a certified project's certification is revoked, the recapture provisions of subsection (e) of section 31A shall apply. If such property is disposed of after the certified project's certification period but before the end of such property's useful life, the recapture provisions of subsection (e) of section 31A shall apply. The expiration of a certified project's certification shall not require the application of the recapture provisions of subsection (e) of section 31A.

  As used in this paragraph, "EACC'' shall mean the economic assistance coordinating council established in section 3B of chapter 23A. A credit allowed under this section may be taken only after the taxpayer completes a report signed by an authorized representative of the corporation and files the report with the EACC within 2 years after the initial project certification by the EACC and annually thereafter. The report shall contain pertinent employment data needed to determine whether the taxpayer has reasonably satisfied the employment projections set forth in its original project proposal granted pursuant to section 3F of said chapter 23A. To the extent applicable, subsection (2) of section 3F of said chapter 23A shall apply to tax benefits awarded under this section. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the commissioner to make adjustments to a corporation's liability upon audit.

  (b) If a credit allowed under clauses (ii) and (iii) of subsection (a) for certified manufacturing retention projects and certified job creation projects exceeds the tax otherwise due under this chapter, 100 per cent of the balance of such credit may, at the option of the taxpayer and to the extent authorized pursuant to the economic assistance coordinating council, be refundable to the taxpayer for the taxable year in which qualified property giving rise to that credit is placed in service, in the case of a manufacturing retention project, or for the taxable year subsequent to the year in which the required jobs are added, in the case of a job creation project. If such credit balance is refunded to the taxpayer, the credit carryover provisions of subsection (d) shall not apply. The amount of credit eligible to be refunded shall be determined without regard to the limitations in subsections (a) and (c).

  (c) In the case of a corporation that is subject to a minimum excise under any provision of this chapter, the amount of the credit allowed by this section shall not reduce the excise to an amount less than such minimum excise.

  (d) Any corporation entitled to a credit under this section for any taxable year may carry over and apply to its excise for any one or more of the next succeeding ten taxable years, the portion, as reduced from year to year, of those credits which were not allowed by paragraph (a) or paragraph (c) or which exceed the excise for the taxable year; provided, however, that in no event shall the corporation apply the credit to its excise for any taxable year beginning more than five years after the certified project or economic opportunity area ceases to qualify as such under the provisions of chapter twenty-three A.

  (e) In the case of corporations filing a combined return of income under section thirty-two B, a credit generated by an individual member corporation under the provisions of this section shall first be applied against the separately determined excise attributable to that member, subject to the limitations of paragraph (a) or paragraph (c). A member corporation with an excess credit may apply its excess credit against the excise of another group member, to the extent that such other member corporation can use additional credits under the limitation of said paragraph (a) or paragraph (c). Unused, unexpired credits generated by member corporations shall be carried over from year to year by the individual corporation that generated the credit. Nothing in this section shall alter the provisions of paragraph (h) of section thirty-one A.

  (f) For purposes of this section, the commissioner of revenue may aggregate the activities of all corporations that are members of a controlled group of corporations and, in addition, may aggregate the activities of all entities, whether or not incorporated, under common control as defined in subsection (f) of section forty-one of the Code.

  (g) The commissioner of revenue shall promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement the provisions of this section. Such rules and regulations may provide the adjustment of intercompany prices and elimination of intercompany transactions to ensure that all amounts upon which the credit is based reasonably reflect fair market value. In addition, such rules and regulations shall include provisions to prevent the generation of multiple credits with respect to the same property.

Chapter 63: Section 38N. Economic development incentive program; tax credit for certified projects

[ Text of section as amended by 2016, 219, Sec. 85 effective August 10, 2016 for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017. See 2016, 219, Sec. 139. For text effective until August 10, 2016, see above.]

  Section 38N. (a)(l) As used in this section, "Certified project'', "EACC'', "EDIP contract'' and "Gateway municipality'' shall have the same meanings as ascribed to them in section 3A of chapter 23A.

  (b) A corporation subject to tax under this chapter that is the controlling business of a certified project, or an affiliate of a controlling business, may take a credit against the excise imposed by this chapter to the extent that the credit is authorized by the EACC, up to an amount equal to 50 per cent of the liability in a taxable year; provided, however, that the 50 per cent limitation shall not apply where the credit is refundable under subsection (d). The amount of the credit shall be determined by EACC under section 3D of said chapter 23A and other criteria or guidelines that the council shall from time to time adopt; provided, however, that a credit awarded in connection with a certified project that will retain permanent full-time employees in a gateway municipality without creating a net increase in permanent full-time employees shall not exceed $5,000 per retained employee. A credit allowed under this section shall be taken only after the corporation executes an EDIP contract under said section 3D of said chapter 23A.

  (c) The total amount of credits that may be authorized by the EACC in a calendar year pursuant to this section and subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 shall not exceed $30,000,000 annually; provided, however, that the total amount shall not include credits under section 38BB of this chapter or subsection (q) of said section 6 of said chapter 62; and provided further, that the total amount shall include: (i) refundable credits granted during the year under this section or said subsection (g) or said section (6) of said chapter 62; (ii) nonrefundable credits granted during the year under this section or said subsection (g) or said section (6) of said chapter 62 to the extent that such nonrefundable credits are estimated by the commissioner of revenue to offset tax liabilities during the year; and (iii) carryforwards of credits from prior years under this section or said subsection (g) of said section 6 of said chapter 62 to the extent that such credit carryforwards, if any, are estimated by the commissioner of revenue to offset tax liabilities during the year. A portion of the annual cap not awarded by the EACC in a calendar year shall not be applied to awards in a subsequent year.

  The economic assistance coordinating council shall provide the commissioner of revenue with the documentation that the commissioner deems necessary to confirm compliance with the annual cap and the commissioner shall provide a report confirming compliance to the secretary of administration and finance and the secretary of housing and economic development.

  The credit allowed under this section may be taken by an eligible corporation; provided, however, that the credit allowed by section 31A or 31H shall not be taken by such a corporation.

  (d) A corporation entitled to a credit under this section for a taxable year may, to the extent authorized by the EACC, carry over and apply to the tax liability imposed by this chapter for any of the next succeeding 10 taxable years the portion, as reduced from year to year, of those credits that exceed the tax liability imposed by this chapter for the taxable year; provided, however, that the corporation shall not apply the credit to the tax liability imposed by this chapter for a taxable year beginning more than 5 years after the certified project ceases to qualify as a certified project under chapter 23A; and provided further, that notwithstanding the foregoing, the economic assistance coordinating council may limit or restrict carryover of credits under section 3D of said chapter 23A.

  (e) If a credit allowed under subsection (b) is designated by the EACC as a refundable credit, the credit shall first be applied against the tax liability of the corporation under this chapter and 100 per cent of the balance of the credit may, at the option of the corporation and to the extent authorized by the EACC, be refundable to the corporation. In each case, the EACC shall specify the timing of the refund which may be for the taxable year in which all or a portion of the certified project is placed in service or the taxable year subsequent to the year in which the required jobs are created. If the credit balance is refunded to the corporation, the credit carryover provisions of subsection (d) shall not apply.

  (f) If a corporation is subject to a minimum excise under this chapter, the amount of the credit allowed by this section shall not reduce the excise to an amount less than the minimum excise.

  (g) If corporations file a combined return of income under section 32B, a credit generated by an individual member corporation under this section shall first be applied against the separately determined excise attributable to that member except as otherwise provided in this section. A member corporation with an excess credit may apply its excess credit against the excise of another group member to the extent that the other member corporation can use additional credits. An unused, unexpired credit generated by a member corporation shall be carried over from year to year by the individual corporation that generated the credit to the extent authorized by the EACC.

  (h) The commissioner of revenue may promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement this section including, but not limited to, provisions to prevent the generation of multiple credits with respect to the same property.

  (i) If the EACC revokes the certification of a project under section 3F of chapter 23A, a portion of the tax credit otherwise allowed by this section and claimed by the corporation prior to the date on which the EACC makes the determination to revoke its certification of the project shall be added back as additional tax due and shall be reported as such on the return of the corporation for the taxable period in which the EACC makes the determination to revoke the certification of the project. The amount of credits subject to recapture shall be proportionate to the corporation's compliance with the job creation requirements applicable to the certified project. The corporation's proportion of compliance shall be determined by the EACC as part of its revocation process and shall be reported to the corporation and the department of revenue at the time certification is revoked.

  (j) If a certified project is sold or otherwise disposed of, a tax credit allowed under this section may be transferred to the purchaser of the certified project; provided, however, that the EDIP contract shall be assigned to and assumed by the purchaser of the certified project and the assignment and assumption shall be approved in writing by the EACC.

  (k) Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the commissioner of revenue to make an adjustment to a corporation's liability upon audit.