Massachusetts Raffle and Bazaar Tax



Nonprofit organizations must follow certain MA General Laws when sponsoring a raffle or bazaar. Qualifying organizations must apply with their respective town before an event and subsequently file a report on all events.

Any organization conducting or operating a raffle or bazaar shall file a return with the state lottery commission, on a form prepared by it, within ten days after the raffle or bazaar is held and shall pay a tax of five percent of the gross proceeds derived from such raffle or bazaar.

Definitions:

Raffle - an arrangement for raising money by the sale of tickets, certain among which, as determined by chance after the sale, entitle the holders to prizes.

Bazaar - a place maintained by the sponsoring organization for disposal by means of chance of one or both of the following types of prizes: (1) merchandise, of any value, (2) cash awards, not to exceed twenty-five dollars each.
Not permitted:

  • Beano
  • Any game similar to Beano regardless of name

A qualifying organization must properly apply to sponsor a raffle or a Bazaar. 

Qualified Organizations:

  • A veterans’ organization charter by the Congress of the United States or included in clause (12) of section five chapter forty of the Massachusetts General Laws
  • A church or religious organization
  • A fraternal benefit society
  • An educational or charitable organization
  • A civic service club or organization
  • Clubs or organization organized and operated exclusively for pleasure, recreation and other nonprofit purposes

Application Process:

  • Must apply for permit to conduct raffle or bazaar with the clerk of the city or town in which the raffle will be drawn or the bazaar will be held.
  • Application must be approved by the commissioner of public safety
  • If clerk determined the application is in conformity with Chapter 271: Section 7A of the Massachusetts General Laws, the application is forwarded to the chief of police of the city or town
  • If police chief determines the applicant is qualified to operate raffles and Bazaars, he shall endorse the application and allow the issuance of a permit
  • The permit remains valid for one year from the date of issuance

No part of net earnings may benefit any member of shareholder.  All funds derived from any raffle or bazaar shall be used exclusively for the purposes stated in the application of the sponsoring organization.

An organization that is issued a permit shall within thirty days of the expiration of its permit submit a report on a form to be approved by the commissioner of public safety.
Report information required:

  • Number of raffles and bazaars held
  • Amount of money received
  • Expenses connected with the raffles or bazaars
  • Names of the winners of prizes exceeding twenty-five dollars in value
  • Net proceeds of the raffles and bazaars
  • The uses to which the net proceeds were applied
  • The report shall be certified by the three persons designated in the permit application as being responsible for such raffles or bazaars and by an accountant

The organization must maintain books and records as may be necessary to substantiate the particulars of the report.  These books and records shall be preserved for at least one year from the date of the report and shall be available for inspection.

For more information see Chapter 271: Section7A. Raffles and bazaars; conduct by certain organization in the Massachusetts General Laws and Chapter 62C: Section 18. Beano, raffle, or bazaar; organizations required to file returns or visit http://www.masslottery.com/games/charitable-games/bingo.html.

Click here for Massachusetts State Lottery Commission’s raffle and/or bazaar tax return form.

Please contact Feeley & Driscoll's nonprofit accountants by Email or call (888) 875-9770 to learn more.


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