What is Excise tax?

Chapter 60A of the Massachusetts General Law (MGL) imposes an excise tax for registering a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. If you have a Massachusetts license plate on your car (or in your possession) you must pay Excise tax. Excise tax is an annual tax, based on the value of the car on which the plate is registered. Most Excise tax bills are sent out in February and due in March.

Excise tax information originates from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The address that the license plate was registered to on January 1 determines where the tax bill for that year will be mailed. If you move on January 2, the bill will still go to the January 1 address. Failure to receive a bill does not excuse you from the tax or interest/fees that accrue on outstanding tax bills. Be sure to submit a forwarding address to the US Postal Service so that you receive your bill. Contact the Treasurer/Collector if you do not receive a bill. For questions about valuation, contact Assessing.

If you surrender your license plate to the RMV or your insurance company, get a receipt from the RMV. You are billed Excise tax as long as the license plate is in your possession (not in the possession of the RMV). If you move to another town or state, or if the vehicle is sold, traded, totaled, or stolen, contact Assessing for abatement information. Assessing’s abatement form is located on the Assessor’s webpage.

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1. What is Excise tax?
2. What if I sold my car but received an Excise Tax Bill?
3. I transferred my license plate to another car and received another Excise bill.
4. I received an Excise tax bill but no longer live in Brookline.
5. What if I do not receive a bill?
6. Where do I mail my Excise Tax Bill?
7. Can I pay my Excise Bill online?
8. Can I pay my Excise Bill over the phone?
9. What happens if I don’t pay the bill?
10. What if my check is returned?
11. What if my payment was not credited to my account?