Home Individual Taxes Taxpayer Services Income Tax FAQs Income Tax FAQs 1. Do I have to file a Maryland income tax return? Generally, you must file a return if you are required to file a federal return with the IRS. Even if you are not required to file a federal return, you may be required to file a Maryland return if your Maryland addition modifications (additions to income), added to your gross income, exceed the minimum filing requirement for your filing status. 2. How can I file electronically? There are several ways to file your Maryland income tax return electronically. You can file electronically using a professional tax preparer, approved software or iFile For more information, see Electronic Filing. 3. Is there a tax break for two-income families? Yes. Maryland provides a deduction for two-income married couples who file a joint income tax return. When both you and your spouse have taxable income, you may subtract up to $1,200 or the income of the spouse with the lower income, whichever is less. The income can be from wages, pensions, or business income. The deduction is available only on the Maryland return and should be entered on line 14 of Form 502. A worksheet is included in Instruction 13 of the resident tax booklet to help you calculate the subtraction. 4. What if I live in Maryland but commute to work in Delaware? If you live in Maryland and work in Delaware, you must file tax returns with both states. To avoid dual taxation, you can get a credit for taxes paid to Delaware by completing Maryland Form 502CR and filing it with your Maryland income tax return. Be sure to include a copy of your Delaware return. For more information about the tax situation for commuters, see Maryland Residents Who Work in Another State. 5. What if I made a mistake on my return. How do I correct it? If you need to change a return that you have already filed, or if the IRS changes your return, you must file an amended return. Resident individuals should file Form 502X. Nonresident individuals should file Form 505X. 6. Does Maryland offer a tax break for child care expenses? Yes. Maryland provides two separate tax benefits for child or dependent care costs: a subtraction that reduces your taxable income and a tax credit that reduces the amount of tax you owe. For more information, see Child or Dependent Care Costs. 7. What if I live in Maryland and work in Washington, D.C.? If you live in Maryland and work in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia, you should file your state income tax return with Maryland. Maryland enjoys a tax reciprocity agreement with these jurisdictions that allows commuters to file state taxes to their state of residence. For more information, see Maryland Residents Who Work in Another State 8. Can I put the full amount of the earned income credit from my federal return on Form 502 or Form 505? If you qualify for the federal earned income tax credit and claim it on your federal return, you may be entitled to an earned income tax credit on the state return equal to 50 percent of the federal tax credit. For more information, see Earned Income Tax Credit. Part-year residents and nonresidents must prorate the earned income credit in accordance with our instructions. 9. I am retired from the federal government. Can I have state tax withheld from my pension? Yes. You can arrange for Maryland taxes to be withheld from your federal pension by visiting Retirement Services Online provided by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. You can also obtain tax withholding assistance from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management by telephone at 1-888-767-6738 or by e-mail at email@example.com. 10. What is the local income tax? Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City levy a local income tax which we collect on the state income tax return as a convenience for local governments. The new Maryland Power of Attorney Forms are now available. 11. Does Maryland have any tax checkoffs? Yes. You can use your income tax return to contribute money to three checkoffs: Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund Developmental Disabilities Services and Support Fund Maryland Cancer Fund Fair Campaign Financing Fund The Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Trust Fund supports projects that protect our state?s natural resources. The Developmental Disabilities and Services Support Fund supports services for children and families such as job training and employment. The Fair Campaign Financing Fund provides a funding alternative in Maryland gubernatorial elections when candidates accept a spending limit. The Maryland Cancer Fund supports grants for cancer research, prevention and treatment. For more information, see Maryland's Tax Checkoffs. 12. Why didn't I get credit for taxes I paid to another state? You may have forgotten to attach a completed Form 502CR to your Maryland return, or you may not have attached a copy of the other state's return. If we reduced the amount of the tax credit that you reported on line 27 of Form 502, it may be due to the fact that the tax credit cannot exceed the amount of state tax or because there is no tax credit for local tax. For more information, see Maryland Residents Who Work in Another State 13. I am a part-year resident of Maryland and I want to use another method for allocating my itemized deductions. What do I do? Send us a letter explaining the reasons why you want to use another method. Be sure to include the following: A completed copy of your federal return, including Schedule A. A completed copy of the return you filed with the other state. A copy of the Maryland return to be filed. If the other state does not have an income tax, then send a schedule showing the allocation of income and itemized deductions among the states. The Maryland return must be completed in accordance with the alternative method requested. Send the letter and documents to: Revenue Administration Division Taxpayer Accounting Section (Special Allocations) P.O. Box 1829 Annapolis, MD 21404-1829 14. How can I check on my income tax refund? You can check the status of your refund online or by calling 410-260-7701 from Central Maryland or 1-800-218-8160 from elsewhere. Whether you're checking online or by phone, be sure you have a copy of your return on hand to verify information. Typically, a refund can be delayed by math errors, missing entries and reported estimated taxes that don?t correspond with the amount we have on file. For more information about refunds, see Refund Information. 15. Who should pay estimated taxes? If you are self-employed or receive income from a pension, capital gains, lottery or another source for which no Maryland tax (or not enough Maryland tax) is withheld, you can make quarterly estimated tax payments as part of a pay-as-you-go plan, using Form PV. If your employer does not withhold enough Maryland taxes from your pay, you may still be required to make quarterly estimated income tax payments if you develop a tax liability that exceeds the amount withheld by your employer by more than $500. For more information, see Estimated Tax. 16. When should I file my estimated tax? You should file Form PV (or your preprinted voucher) with your payment by the following dates: April 15 June 15 September 15 January 15 If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the return or voucher would be due on the next business day. For more information, see Estimated Tax. 17. Can I pay my personal income tax liability with a credit card? 17. Can I pay my personal income tax liability with a credit card? You can pay your Maryland tax with a credit card, using VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. This service applies to taxes owed for the current year or any back year (if you have a bill). You can make your payment online or over the phone by calling 1-800-2PAYTAX (1-800-272-9829). For more information, see Paying Maryland Taxes with a Credit Card. 18. How do I make a payment arrangement? You should pay as much as possible with your tax return, and continue making payments while waiting for processing to be completed. To insure proper credit to your account, you should identify all of your payments with your Social Security Number and the tax period for which the payment is intended. When your return is processed, a Personal Income Tax Balance Due Notice will be sent to you, with a convenient check-off for payment options. If you cannot pay according to the terms on the notice, you may call our Compliance Division?s collection section at 410-974-2432 or 1-888-674-0016 to discuss your account. Interest and penalty will be assessed on the unpaid balance, with interest continuing to accrue at the current rate of 10% per year on any tax paid after the original due date of the 2020 return but before January 1, 2022. You can also set up a payment agreement plan online. 19. Why did I receive an assessment stating I owe Maryland tax, but I never lived in Maryland? The IRS has provided the Comptroller's Office information indicating that you filed a federal return with a Maryland address but no Maryland return for the same year or that you had income from a Maryland source but did not file a Maryland return reporting this income. Please call the Compliance Programs Unit at 410-767-1966 in Central Maryland or 1-800-648-9638 from elsewhere, if you have questions about a notice or assessment for Maryland tax you have received. You may also send them a fax at 410-767-1924. 20. Who is considered a nonresident for Maryland tax purposes? A nonresident refers to any individual who is not a legal resident of the state of Maryland. As a nonresident of Maryland, you are required to file a nonresident income tax return Form 505 and use Form 505NR to calculate your nonresident tax, if you have income derived from: Tangible property, real or personal, permanently located in Maryland; A business, trade, profession or occupation carried on in Maryland; or, Gambling winnings derived from Maryland sources. For more information, see Nonresidents. 21. Is there a tax break for contributions I make to College Savings Plans of Maryland? You may be able to claim up to $2,500 per contract purchased for advanced tuition payments made to the Maryland Prepaid College Trust or up to $2,500 per taxpayer per beneficiary for the total of all amounts contributed to investment accounts for the same beneficiary under the Maryland College Investment Plan. This subtraction modification may not be claimed if the account holder received a State contribution under 18-19A-04,1 of the Education Article during the taxable year. If you have contributed more than $2,500 during the taxable year, the excess may be carried over to each subsequent succeeding tax year until the full amount of the initial contribution is allowed as a subtraction for the Maryland Prepaid College Trust or until used up in the next 10 succeeding taxable years for the Maryland College Investment Plan. For more information, see Administrative Release 32: Maryland College Savings Plan Tax Benefits. 22. I received a 1099G form recently. What is this form all about? It's not a tax bill or a refund. If you received a Maryland income tax refund last year, we're required by federal law to send Form 1099G to you to remind you that the state refund must be reported as income on your federal tax return. You don't need to attach the 1099G form to your federal or state income tax returns. Just keep it for your records. If you use a professional tax preparer, please give the form to your preparer, along with your W-2s and other tax information. For more information, see Form 1099G. 23. Why do I have to pay a fee when using my credit card to pay my taxes? Under the terms of the contract that the Maryland Comptroller's Office maintains with Official Payments Corporation to provide credit card payment services for Maryland tax obligations, Official Payments Corporation is allowed to charge a convenience fee for processing credit card transactions. The fee is not paid to the state of Maryland. For more information about credit card payments, see Paying Maryland Taxes with a Credit Card. There is no fee involved if you pay your taxes by direct debit, when you file electronically. 24. How can I get a copy of my Maryland tax return? To request a copy of a Maryland tax return you filed previously, send us a completed Form 129 by mail or by fax. Please include your name, address, Social Security number, the tax year you are requesting and your signature. If you are requesting a copy of a joint return, include the information for both taxpayers and their signatures. Mailing address: Revenue Administration Division Central Files Unit 110 Carroll Street Annapolis, MD 21411 Fax: 410-974-2967 25. How can I change my tax return after I've already filed? To make certain changes to your original return, you must file an amended return, using Form 502X. Wait until your original return is processed before you send us your completed amended return. 26. How can I establish power of attorney for state tax purposes? Beginning July 1, 2016, the Comptroller's Office will accept a completed Maryland Form 548 (Power of Attorney) or a completed Maryland Form 548P (Reporting Agent Authorization) as power of attorney forms for Maryland tax purposes. The Form 548P will replace the federal Form 8655 (Reporting Agent Authorization) as a power of attorney form for Maryland tax purposes. Beginning January 1, 2017, the Comptroller's Office will only accept the Maryland Form 548 (Power of Attorney) and Maryland Form 548P (Reporting Agent Authorization) as power of attorney forms for Maryland tax purposes. Note: The Maryland Form 548 is a power of attorney for tax purposes. This form will not replace a durable power of attorney or any other power of attorney form authorized by Maryland law. 27. Do I have to add back on my Maryland return the contributions that I make to a flexible spending account that I set up with my employer for medical expenses? No. You do not have to add back the contributions that you make to your employer-maintained health savings account or any other qualified "cafeteria plan" that meets the requirements of Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code. The contributions remain excluded from your adjusted gross income and your federal adjusted gross income, which is the starting point of your Maryland return. 28. Can same-sex couples who are legally married file a joint return tax return in Maryland? Yes, legally married same-sex couples may file a joint income tax return in Maryland. Generally, each resident and each nonresident of this state shall use the same filing status used on their federal income tax return or the same filing status as if the individual had been required to file a federal income tax return. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service now allows same-sex spouses to file joint federal income tax returns. All legally married couples who file Maryland income tax returns must select their Maryland filing status under the same rules. For more information, see Determine Your Filing Status 29. Who may claim the law enforcement subtraction modification? Beginning January 1, 2016, law enforcement officers can claim an income tax subtraction modification for the first $5,000 of income earned if: 1.) The law enforcement officer resides and works in the same political subdivision; and 2.) The crime rate in the political subdivision exceeds the State's crime rate. A law enforcement officer is an individual who is authorized in his or her official capacity to make arrests and is a member of a law enforcement agency, including officers serving under a probationary status or at the pleasure of the appointing authority of a county or municipal corporation. Federal law enforcement officers do not qualify for the subtraction modification. Do I qualify for the law enforcement subtraction modification? To claim the subtraction, you must work and reside in a political subdivision that has a crime rate exceeding the State's crime rate. If you are a Federal law enforcement officer or a State law enforcement officer, you do not qualify for the subtraction modification. In 2019, House Bill 387 expanded the existing State subtraction modification to qualified Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) law enforcement officers. The bill took effect July 1, 2019 and applies to tax year 2019 and beyond. I am a Law Enforcement Officer with: I live in: Can I claim the subtraction modification? Baltimore City Police Baltimore City Yes Baltimore City Sheriff Baltimore City Yes Baltimore County Police Baltimore County Yes Baltimore County Sheriff Baltimore County Yes Allegany Allegany County Yes Dorchester Dorchester County Yes Worcester Worcester County Yes Wicomico County Sheriff Wicomico County Yes Cumberland Police Cumberland Yes Annapolis Police Annapolis Yes Federalsburg Police Federalsburg Yes Westminster Police Westminster Yes Elkton Police Elkton Yes La Plata Police La Plata Yes Cambridge Police Cambridge Yes Oakland Police Oakland Yes Hurlock Hurlock Yes Bladensburg Police Bladensburg Yes Fruitland Fruitland Yes Denton Denton Yes Edmonston Police Edmonston Yes Greenbelt Greenbelt Yes Mt. Ranier Mt. Ranier Yes Hyattsville Police Hyattsville Yes Landover Hills Police Landover Hills Yes Laurel Police Laurel (Prince George's County) Yes Kitzmiller Kitzmiller Yes Bel Air Bel Air Yes Seat Pleasant Police Seat Pleasant Yes Tacoma Park Tacoma Park Yes New Windsor New Windsor Yes Princess Anne Police Princess Anne Yes Easton Police Easton Yes St. Michaels Police St. Michaels Yes Hagerstown Police Hagerstown Yes Delmar Police Delmar Yes Salisbury City Salisbury City Yes Ocean City Police Ocean City Yes Pocomoke City Police Pocomoke City Yes If you do not fit into one of the above categories, you are not eligible for the subtraction. A law enforcement officer may claim the subtraction, if applicable, by reporting it on Form 502 and Form 502SU.