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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE IX TAXATION
  • CHAPTER 65C MASSACHUSETTS ESTATE TAX
  • Section 14 Lien for unpaid tax; liability for delinquent tax; release or discharge of lien

Section 14. (a) Unless the tax imposed by this chapter is sooner paid in full, it shall be a lien for ten years from the date of death upon the Massachusetts gross estate of the decedent, except that such part of the Massachusetts gross estate as is used for the payment of charges against the estate and expenses of its administration, allowed by the probate court having jurisdiction thereof, shall be divested of such lien. For dates of death on or after January 1, 1997, an affidavit of the executor, subscribed to under the pains and penalties of perjury, recorded in the appropriate registry of deeds and stating that the gross estate of the decedent does not necessitate a federal estate tax filing, shall release the gross estate of the lien imposed by this section.

(b) If the tax imposed by this chapter is not paid when due, then the spouse, transferee, trustee, surviving tenant, person in possession of the real or personal property by reason of the exercise, nonexercise, or release of a power of appointment, or beneficiary, who receives, or has on the date of the decedent’s death, real or personal property included in the Massachusetts gross estate to the extent of the value, at the time of the decedent’s death, of such property shall be personally liable for such tax. Any part of such real property, which, prior to the decedent’s death, was conveyed by a deed of the decedent not disclosing an intention that it take effect in possession or enjoyment at or after his death and such deed was recorded or registered prior to the decedent’s death, and any part of such personal property transferred by, or transferred by a transferee of, such spouse, transferee, trustee, surviving tenant, person in possession of property by reason of the exercise, nonexercise, or release of a power of appointment, or beneficiary, to a bona fide purchaser, mortgagee or pledgee, for an adequate and full consideration in money or money’s worth shall be divested of the lien provided in subsection (a), and a lien shall then attach to all the property of such spouse, transferee, trustee, surviving tenant, person in possession, beneficiary, or transferee of any such person, except any part transferred to a bona fide purchaser, mortgagee or pledgee for an adequate and full consideration in money or money’s worth.

(c) The lien imposed by this section shall not be valid with respect to a security, as hereinafter defined, as against any mortgagee, pledgee, or purchaser of any such security, for an adequate and full consideration in money or money’s worth, or if at the time of such mortgage, pledge, or purchase such mortgagee, pledgee or purchaser is without notice or knowledge of the existence of such lien. As used in this section, the term “security” shall mean any bond, debenture, note or certificate or other evidence of indebtedness, issued by any corporation, including one issued by a government or political subdivision thereof, with interest coupons or in registered form, share of stock, voting trust certificate, or any certificate of interest or participation in, certificate of deposit or receipt for, temporary or interim certificate for, or warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of the foregoing; negotiable instrument; or money.

(d) The commissioner may release, or give a partial discharge of, any lien imposed by this chapter with respect to all or any part of the property subject to such lien, if he is satisfied that the collection of the tax will not thereby be jeopardized. The issuance by the commissioner of any certificate of release or of partial discharge shall be held conclusive that the lien upon the property covered by the certificate is extinguished.

(e) Such lien shall cease to attach to any personal property after the same has been sold or disposed of for value by the person lawfully entitled to make such sale or disposition; provided, however, that such lien shall forthwith, upon any sale or disposition of such personal property, attach to the proceeds or other property acquired in substitution therefor. A license issued or decree entered authorizing the sale of real estate of a resident decedent or of any property of a nonresident decedent subject to such lien shall state affirmatively that the commissioner has released or discharged the lien, and before such a license or decree is issued or entered, it shall appear in the records of the probate court that the commissioner has released or discharged the lien with respect to such property.

(f) In the case of any interest in qualified real property, devoted to use as a farm for farming purposes and valued pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of section 5, an amount equal to the adjusted tax difference attributable to such interest within the meaning of section two thousand and thirty-two A of the Code in effect on January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-five shall be a lien in favor of the commonwealth on the property in which such interest exists. Such lien shall arise at the time an election is filed under subsection (c) and shall continue with respect to any interest in the qualified real property (1) until the liability of tax under subsection (c) of section two thousand and thirty-two A of said Code, with respect to such interest has been satisfied or (2) until it is established to the satisfaction of the commissioner that no further tax liability may arise under section two thousand and thirty-two A of said Code, with respect to such interest. For purposes of this section, the term “qualified real property” includes qualified replacement property (within the meaning of section two thousand and thirty-two A(h)(3)(B) of said Code, and qualified exchange property (within the meaning of section two thousand and thirty-two A(i)(3) of said Code.