Frequently Asked Questions About Income Tax

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.
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

Frequently Asked Questions about eFiling Maryland Taxes

There are three methods you can choose from to file your Maryland taxes electronically:

  • Use a commercial tax preparer.
  • File online using approved commercial software.
  • File online using our free iFile service.

To file online, you will need a computer with Internet access - whether it's your home computer, a computer at your local library, or another computer.

You must have an e-mail address to file online. If you don't have one, check out one of the free e-mail services. You can use any search engine on the Internet by entering the search criteria of "free e-mail," and receive a list of free e-mail providers.

Electronic filing is a fast, convenient and secure way to do your taxes - and in some cases, it's free. Electronic returns are processed quickly, even if you wait until the due date to file.

If you file electronically and choose direct deposit of your refund, we will transfer the funds to your bank account within several days from the date your return is accepted and processed. If you have a balance due, you can pay by direct debit. If you file electronically by April 15, you have until April 30 to make the electronic payment.

In addition, you don't have to worry about mistakes when you file electronically because errors are corrected immediately.

For more information, see Electronic Filing Benefits.

For more information, see Paying Maryland Taxes with a Credit Card.

If you use a tax professional: Tax return data submitted by professional tax preparers is transmitted through either the IRS or through the state's private secure network in accordance with rules and procedures implemented to insure tax information confidentiality.

If you file online: Check with your online provider if you have questions about the security of the sites. Most Internet sites are equipped to prevent unauthorized people from seeing the data sent to or from those sites. Once your tax information has been transmitted to a Web site, the data is sent to the Comptroller's Office through the state's electronic filing network. This network does not use the Internet; it is a private network designed to meet the highest security standards.

Yes. Aside from convenience, one advantage of filing electronically when you owe taxes is that you learn exactly how much you owe.

You have several payment options when you file your return electronically. You can pay your balance by using direct debit or you can pay by credit card using American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA. If you file electronically by April 15, you have until April 30 to make your electronic payment.

If you wish to pay by check or money order, the payment is due by April 15. You must also submit Form IND PV with your check or money order payment, if you electronically file a Form 502 or 505.

You can use our free iFile service if you are filing Form 502 and most other Maryland tax forms.

You will need the following information and computer system setup to use iFile:

System Requirements

  • You need Google Chrome Browser with the display font set to default.
  • If you are using a browser other than Google Chrome Browser and experience difficulty, try upgrading your browser to the latest version.
  • Leave your browser setting for language set to default so JavaScript and cookies are enabled.
  • You will need a printer if you wish to print your return.
  • You will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or better installed to view tax documentation in PDF format.

If you (or your spouse) have not filed a Maryland return in the previous year, a link to print Form EL101 (first-time filer declaration will automatically be displayed under Required Forms, located on the confirmation page. If you are filing from a personal computer an EL101 form will appear in the forms available section on your confirmation page. Print and sign the form. Retain the form for your records UNLESS you are requested in writing by the Revenue Administration Division (RAD) to mail in a signed copy.

You can contact us at:
(410) 260-7980 or
(800) 638-2937 or
e-mail at taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov

We cannot be responsible for inaccurate printing due to variations in hardware or system settings. You should check your printed copies for completeness before you leave the tax confirmation page.

Follow the instructions below to obtain a copy of your completed return:

  • Select which tax year and form type you wish to print from the iFile Choose Form page.
  • Enter your Social Security Number, Last Name and Password in the fields indicated.
  • Click Logon. This will direct you to a list of returns.
  • Select Print under Options to print all or any part of your return. This will refer you back to the Confirmation Page.
  • Under Completed Forms, you can select which form(s) you wish to print. PDF and Text versions are available.
  • If you are unable to recall your password, see Taxpayer Support.

If you need to make an adjustment to a return that has already been submitted and processed, you must file an AMENDED return.

There are two ways to amend your return:

1. If you submitted your original Maryland Tax Return using iFile, you may amend your previously submitted information also using iFile. Enter your Social Security Number, Last Name and Password, then select the AMEND option from the list of options.

2. If your original Maryland Tax Return was submitted in any other manner other than iFile, or is for another tax year, please allow approximately six weeks for the original return to be processed. Then use Form 502X to file an amended return. The amended return must be mailed to:

Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Division
110 Carroll Street
Annapolis, MD 21411

If you requested an electronic funds withdrawal on your original electronic return, we recommend you file your Amended return after the date of withdrawal on your original filing.

  • You are filing a Form 500CR.
  • You are filing a Form 1042S.
  • You are filing Form 515 for nonresident local tax.
  • You are filing to amend a return that was previously filed on paper or another electronic source other than iFile.
  • You are filing to amend a nonresident Form 505.
  • You are claiming a dependent that does not have a SSN (Social Security Number) or an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
  • You are filing more than the number of forms allowed to iFile. iFile is limited to: 50 W-2s, 30 W-2Gs, 10 502CRs, 10 1099Gs and 20 1099Rs.
  • You filing status is Married Filing Separately or Head of Household and you are claiming your spouse as a dependent taxpayer based on special conditions on your Federal return.
  • You are filing a joint Maryland return and spouses reside in different local taxing areas or different states on the last day of the tax year.*
  • You are filing a joint Maryland return and spouses have different tax periods.
  • You are in the military, are a legal resident of another state, have military income and income from both Maryland and non-Maryland sources, and are filing a joint return with your civilian spouse who resided in Maryland for more than six months during the tax year and who had any income during the tax year.*
  • * If these situations apply to you then you may have other options available that would make it possible for you to use iFile. Please see our Forms assistance link.

Electronic filing is essentially a paperless function. But there are certain tax credits that require you to submit supporting documentation with your signature document Form EL101. See Tax Credit Certification for Electronic Filings. In addition, if you plan to file a Form 502 or Form 505 electronically and pay any balance due with a check or money order, you must complete Form PV (Personal Tax Payment Voucher For Form 502/505, Estimated Tax and Extensions) and send it to us, along with your payment. You do not need to use Form PV if you are making a direct debit or credit card payment. For more information, see Necessary Paper Forms for Online Filers

A subdivision code is what is used to direct the distribution of local taxes collected back to the county where you live. The software you are using may have a drop down menu for you to choose your county of residence or city, town or taxing area. If no pull down menu is available, you can find your county abbreviation or subdivision code on this Web site.

If you select direct deposit, we will transfer the funds to your bank account within several days from the date your return is accepted and processed.

Electronic returns are processed overnight - even at the tax deadline. So you still avoid the delays caused by the last-minute paper crunch on April 15.

Yes. You can file Form 502 for free online using iFile or you can file electronically from your personal computer, using an online approved efile software vendor.

Yes! There are hundreds of commercial tax preparers who are approved by the IRS and the Maryland Comptroller's Office to file your federal and Maryland tax returns electronically. Look for the e-file logo - and just ask! Find a qualified preparer near you or contact us at taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov.

If you filed electronically through a professional tax preparer, contact your preparer to make sure that your return was transmitted to us. A refund can also be delayed due to math errors, missing entries, questions about estimated taxes that were reportedly paid or incorrect bank account numbers. For more information, see Refund Information and Choose Direct Deposit.

You can pay your Maryland tax with a credit card, using VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. If you file electronically by April 15, you have until April 30 to make your electronic payment. 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.

No. When you file electronically using online software, you use a PIN (Personal Identification Number) instead of a signature. The PIN you used to file your federal return electronically can be the same PIN you use to electronically file your Maryland return.

If you use online software to file your Maryland return electronically, and you do not use the federal PIN, the software will generate Form EL101 (Maryland Income Tax Declaration for Electronic Filing) and advise you to sign the form and keep it with your records for three years, along with other applicable attachments. Some tax credits allowed on a Maryland electronic return require supporting documentation to be submitted with Form EL101. See Tax Credit Certification for Electronic Filings.

If you use a professional tax preparer, your preparer will complete your Form EL101 and have you sign it before your return can be transmitted electronically. For more information, see Necessary Paper Forms for Online Filers.

If you file electronically and pay by direct debit, you can make a partial payment. However, you must pay the final balance, using a check, money order or credit card. You cannot pay the final balance with another direct debit.

If you file electronically by April 15, you have until April 30 to make the final payment by credit card. If you want to pay by check or money order, the payment is due by April 15, even if you file electronically.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

If you work in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia

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.

If you commute to work in one of the states listed above, and your employer withholds taxes for that jurisdiction, you can file the appropriate form with that locality to obtain a refund.

If you work in any other state on a regular basis, it's a good idea to contact that state's taxing authority to determine your taxable status from their perspective.

If you have income that is taxed in another state and/or a locality in another state, see Maryland Form 502CR to determine if you are eligible for a tax credit. Be sure to include your completed Form 502CR with your Maryland return, along with a copy of the return you filed with the other state and/or a locality in another state.

If you work in Delaware

Maryland residents who work in Delaware must file tax returns with both states. To avoid dual taxation, you can get a credit for taxes paid to Delaware and/or a locality in 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 and/or return of the locality in Delaware.

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.
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 retire@opm.gov.
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 local income tax is calculated as a percentage of your taxable income. Local officials set the rates, which range between 1.75 percent and 3.20 percent for tax year 2018. For more information, see Local Income Tax.
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.
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
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
There are no longer pre-printed labels provided. Please make sure you fill out the name and address area of your return completely along with entering your Social Security number(s).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 11.5% per year on any tax paid after the original due date of the 2017 return but before January 1, 2019.

You can also set up a payment agreement plan online.
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.
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.

If You are a Nonresident Filer

If you are a nonresident of Maryland, you are required to file Form 505 (Maryland Nonresident Income Tax Return) and Form 505NR (Maryland Nonresident Income Tax Calculation) 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.

You are not required to file as a nonresident if:

  • Your Maryland gross income is less than the minimum filing level for your filing status;
  • You had no income from a Maryland source; or
  • You reside in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia or Washington, D.C., and earned only wages in Maryland. For more information, see If You Are A Nonresident Working In Maryland (below) and the instructions in the Maryland nonresident tax booklet.

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 and the Maryland Broker-Dealer 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.
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.
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.

You don't have to write another check to pay your taxes, if you don't want to. With the State of Maryland direct debit program you don't have to worry about late penalties and interest charges or mailing off a check for your tax payment.

When you sign the direct debit authorization document you agree to have a predetermined amount deducted from your checking account on approximately the same day each month. If making smaller, more frequent payments is convenient for you, direct debit payments can be arranged to occur on the 1st, 10th and 21st day of each month or any combination of these days.

The debits stop automatically after all taxes, penalties and interest have been paid. The money will be transferred to the State of Maryland with no additional service charge. We can even arrange for separate debits for each type of eligible tax. Direct Debit can be used to pay sales and use, admissions and amusement, and withholding taxes as well as the tire-recycling fee.

You will receive a regular statement of account that shows the direct debit payment along with any other account activity for each tax for which you are making debit payments.

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
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.
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.

The Comptroller's Office will continue to accept a completed federal Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative) or a completed federal Form 8821 (Tax Information Authorization) as power of attorney forms for Maryland tax purposes through December 31, 2016. Federal Form 8655 (Reporting Agent Authorization) and generic Power of Attorney Forms will not be accepted. The power of attorney Form 2848 and 8821 must be specific as to the type of Maryland tax or Maryland form in question.

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.

For more information, see Power of Attorney
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.
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
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.

Below is a list of taxpayers eligible for the subtraction:
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.