Delayed Opening But Tax Filing Deadline Remains Tuesday, April 15, 2014
With the official start of the 2014 tax filing season only weeks away, Comptroller Peter Franchot shared important information today regarding recent changes to Maryland tax laws and filing processes.
This year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has delayed the start date for filing personal current-year tax returns until January 31, due to the 16-day federal government shutdown. Correspondingly, Maryland will open its tax filing season on the same day as it relies on IRS systems in the processing and verifying of state returns. This year’s tax filing deadline remains April 15, 2014.
“My dedicated staff has been diligently preparing for the tax filing season and are ready to provide the world class customer service that they are known for to all Maryland taxpayers. I encourage everyone to take full advantage of the range of services offered at our 12 branch offices including free tax preparation and electronic filing,” said Comptroller Franchot. He noted that taxpayers must have a completed federal income tax return and supporting documentation in order for agency staff to complete a state return.
Comptroller Franchot also informed taxpayers of some changes and offered some helpful tips for filing 2013 returns:
Tax Forms, Instructions & Booklets
- Tax Booklets – Tax booklets will not be mailed in 2014. Taxpayers may file electronically or print the tax booklet and forms from the agency’s website or contact the nearest branch office for assistance.
- Branch Offices – Local branch offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday to assistant taxpayers in filling out and electronically filing their tax forms at no cost. A list of branch offices can be found at on the agency’s website.
- Telephone Assistance – Telephone service is available 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Comptroller of Maryland offers extended hours for telephone assistance from February 3 – April 15, 2014. During this period, telephone assistance is available from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Libraries and Post Offices – The Comptroller’s Office no longer supplies local post offices and all libraries with tax booklets. A limited supply of booklets are available at requesting libraries but each library receives a CD Rom of all forms.
New Local Tax Rates
Local Tax Rate Increase – For tax year 2013, Anne Arundel County has increased its local tax rate back to 2.56%; Talbot County has increased its rate to 2.40%; and Wicomico County has increased its rate to 3.20%. See Local Income Tax Rates for the list of rates by county. For tax year 2014, Caroline County has increased its rate to 2.73%, Carroll has decreased its rate to 3.04%, and Charles County has increased to 3.03%.
Personal Exemption Amount – The exemption amount of $3,200 begins to be phased out if your federal adjusted gross income is more than $100,000 ($150,000 for joint taxpayers). The $3,200 exemption is phased out entirely when the income exceeds $150,000 ($200,000 for joint taxpayers). See Instruction 10 in the Resident tax booklet for the reduced amounts, or review the page, Determine Your Personal Income Tax Exemptions. The additional exemption of $1,000 remains the same for age and blindness.
Dependent Form 502B – This form will be required to be attached to Form 502, Form 505 and Form 515 to determine what exemptions you are entitled to claim. Taxpayers claiming more than two dependents on Form 503 must use Form 502.
Increased pension exclusion – Maryland’s maximum pension exclusion, which is available to qualifying taxpayers 65 or older, increased from $27,100 to $27,800 for tax year 2013.
Subtraction Modifications – There are three new subtraction modifications created by the Maryland General Assembly for tax year 2013:
Expands the existing conservation tillage equipment income tax subtraction modification to include qualified purchases of specified (1) manure spreading equipment; (2) vertical tillage equipment; (3) global positioning system devices used for management of agricultural nutrient applications; and (4) integrated optical sensing and nutrient application systems.
Creates a subtraction modification against the state income tax for the noneconomic damages received by a claimant in satisfaction of a claim of unlawful discrimination.
Expands the applicability of an existing income tax subtraction modification for reforestation or timber stand improvement, making it available for land ranging from 3 to 1,000 acres and allowing for a broader range of timber stand improvement activities.
As always, Comptroller Franchot reminds taxpayers that filing electronically is the most efficient and secure way to file a tax return.
For more information on filing Maryland taxes, please visit http://taxes.marylandtaxes.com/Individual_Taxes/default.shtml or call 1-800-MD-TAXES.