Reminder: Processing Of Paper Income Tax Returns To Temporarily Stop On April 15 Due To COVID-19

Comptroller Peter Franchot urges Maryland taxpayers seeking refunds to file electronically as soon as possible and reminds those who file paper income tax returns to make sure those returns are postmarked by April 10th to ensure processing. The agency will temporarily stop processing paper tax returns on April 15 in an effort to keep essential employees safe amid the spread of COVID-19.

“We want to make sure every Marylander due a refund gets it as soon as possible, especially during this economic crisis,” Comptroller Franchot said. “We are taking this step to balance that goal with our commitment to protecting the health of our dedicated team processing those paper returns. Mailing your paper income tax return by April 10th will help ensure timely processing.”

Most taxpayers receiving refunds have already filed and the number of those anticipating refunds who have yet to do so and plan to file via paper returns is very low. The deadline for individuals and businesses to file and pay their state income tax was previously extended until July 15.

Since taking office in 2007, Comptroller Franchot has encouraged taxpayers to file electronically. Nearly 86 percent of the more than three million returns processed annually by the agency are filed electronically, while approximately 450,000 returns are manually submitted, costing the state about $5 each to process. It takes an average of 2.2 business days to process an electronically filed return compared to the average of 22 business days to process a paper return.

The decision to temporarily stop processing paper returns after April 15 will further reduce the staff required to work on site. The electronic filing process requires minimal human intervention, and is a cost-effective and more secure way to submit taxes at a time when tax fraud and identity theft schemes are on the rise across the nation.

The agency will continue to monitor the situation closely and could alter the schedule if necessary.

Franchot Announces Extension Of Business Tax Filing Deadlines

To assist businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced he will extend business-related tax filing deadlines. The June 1st extension applies to certain business returns with due dates during the months of March, April and May 2020 for businesses filing sales and use tax, withholding tax, and admissions & amusement tax, as well as alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel excise taxes, tire recycling fee and bay restoration fee returns.

Business taxpayers who file and pay by the extended due date will receive a waiver of interest and penalties.

If the IRS extends its April 15th filing deadline for corporate and individual income tax returns, Maryland will conform to the decision of the IRS.

“Our state’s top priority is safeguarding public health for Marylanders, but we must also protect the financial health of our economy,” said Comptroller Franchot. “This extension will provide much-needed relief to our business owners as they adjust to changes in consumer behavior, tourism trends and employee workforce output. Maryland will also extend our corporate and individual income tax return filing deadlines if the IRS announces an extension.”

The agency has set up a dedicated email address — — to assist businesses with extension-related questions. Business owners can also call the Comptroller’s Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.