Commonwealth common logic

If you have a Massachusetts corporation you are required to file an Annual Report. This is mostly a formality, and an opportunity for the state to collect a fee. The annual fee for an S-corporation is $125; for a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) it is $500. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a Web site (accessible from the Secretary of the Commonwealth page) where you can file your annual report electronically. It makes a lot of sense for all parties involved: it’s much easier to log in, fill out the two or three Web-based forms, enter a credit card number, get a confirmation and be done with it. I am sure it is much easier for The Commonwealth too, much easier than getting a form and a check, which need to be entered and dealt with by a person. Even the Commonwealth recognizes this — sort of. It positively encourages you to file your S-Corp Annual Report online, by offering an online filing fee discount, $109 instead of $125. Somehow, though, it hasn’t recognized the same benefits for LLCs; if you choose to file your LLC Annual Report online, you do not get a discount on the $500 fee, you actually get a negative discount in the form of an extra $20 online filing service fee. Why? Aren’t the benefits of online filing the same for S-Corps and LLCs? Or maybe it is still being debated by the various branches of the Commonwealth’s bureaucracy.

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