As of January 1, 2019, the process for claiming a small business energy exemption will be changing.  For 2019 and later years, small businesses will apply online for an exemption certificate rather than submitting Form ST-13 to their energy provider.  The certificate will be effective for two years, rather than one year as it had been.  All current exemptions have been automatically extended beyond December 31, 2018 to March 31, 2019.  No action is necessary by the small business to extend the exemption.  The new process will be available on MassTaxConnect beginning January 1, 2019.  Filing on paper will not be possible. Be sure to register before your current exemption expires on March 31, 2019.  After December 31, 2018, all eligible small businesses must register online to be entitled to the exemption.

Restrictions to qualify are as follows:

  • You must have 5 or fewer full-time employees who normally work for the business for 30 hours or more per week and who are hired for a period of 5 months or more. Any partner, owner or officer of the business who normally works for the business 30 hours or more per week is considered an “employee” for this exemption.
  • You must maintain adequate weekly employee time and wage records to substantiate any claim to this exemption.
  • You must have gross receipts of less than $1,000,000 in 2018.
  • You must reasonably expect to have gross receipts of less than $1,000,000 in 2019.
  • The energy must be purchased for use by a qualifying small business itself.
  • If you cease to qualify for this exemption at any time, you must notify your vendors in writing.

If you qualify for this exemption go to MassTaxConnect (https://mtc.dor.state.ma.us/mtc/_).

Only one online registration for an exemption certificate will be necessary regardless of the number of utilities you use.  You will provide a copy for the exemption certificate, or the certificate number, to each of the utility companies you use for your business.

Please contact our office if you have any questions, comments or require additional assistance regarding this issue.