Why Do I Owe?

Let us help resolve your compliance or collections problem. Learn about reasons why we think you owe us taxes, how we discover the information, what types of notices we send, and what to do about it.

Below you will find links for the most common reasons you may have a Maryland Individual tax liability. You may have received a notice in the mail from us and want more information about it.

If you have not paid your taxes due in full, or have not filed a Maryland return that we believe you should have, you will receive an income tax notice from the Comptroller of Maryland. If you do not respond to the first notice, an assessment notice will be issued.  

Once you receive an assessment notice you will be billed for the amount of the assessment in addition to a substantial penalty and interest charge on the tax owed.

Use the links below if you'd like to learn more about the notice you received, how we determined that there was a problem, and what you need to do about it.

In all cases, if you have questions about the notice you received, or you can't find your notice defined here, call the phone number on the notice promptly. By calling the number on your notice, you can find out how to resolve the dispute or file an appeal and Dispute It! Failure to respond to the notice may cause us to assess additional penalty and interest charges and result in further collections efforts.

If you believe you owe state taxes but have not received a notice, call our taxpayer service office at 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland or 1-800-MDTAXES from elsewhere.

This letter is to inform you that your tax account has been referred to Collections because the balance was not paid. Unless this is resolved by the payment due date, we will enforce collection. Click here for additional information about what happens if you don't pay.

This notice is to advise that a Notice of Lien of Judgment has been satisfied.

Click here for additional information about Tax Liens.

This letter is to inform you that any federal refunds or vendor payments to which you may be entitled will be applied to state tax debts. You can avoid the offset of vendor payments by entering into and remaining current with a payment agreement. However, the balance must be paid in full to avoid the offset of your federal income tax refunds. Additionally, the Department of Treasury charges a fee for each payment offset which will be deducted from your check amount. This notice is required even if a payment plan has been established. Click here for additional information about our Liability Offset Program.

This letter is required by law and advises you that you may file an appeal in writing to the Compliance Division, Hearings and Appeals Section. This notice also reflects the penalty and accrued interest to date and is required even if a payment plan has been established. If a plan is in effect, continue to follow the terms of the agreement. Click here to find out how to file an appeal and Dispute It!

Notice of Lien of Judgment has been filed in the county of the address of record to serve notice to your creditors for delinquent and unpaid tax, interest, penalties and delinquent fees thereon, extending to and covering all property and rights to property, real and personal as long as the Lien is not fully satisfied. Click here for additional information about Tax Liens.

This letter is to inform you payment in full has not been received. This bill constitutes demand for payment.

This letter is to inform you that your tax account has been referred to Collections because the balance was not paid. Unless this is resolved by the payment due date, we will enforce collection. Click here for additional information about what happens if you don't pay.

This letter is to inform you that we have processed your return and found that you have a balance due. This notice also will explain any corrections we made while processing your return. If you need assistance in understanding why you owe, please contact our Taxpayer Services Division.

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The Non-Filer program identifies individuals who have filed federal income tax returns using a Maryland address but have not filed a corresponding Maryland income tax return.

If you received an Information Request letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you had a filing requirement, please check box B, and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland (e.g., copy of W-2, resident income tax return, etc.). If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

The Revenue Agent Report Program (RARNF) is based on information received from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicating that a taxpayer's federal return was audited or adjusted. The program compares the information to our records and when no Maryland return is located, an Information Request RARNF letter is generated.

If you received an Information Request letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you had a filing requirement, please check box B, and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland (e.g., copy of W-2, resident income tax return, etc.). If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

The Extension Non-filer Program (EXTNF) identifies individuals who have made estimated or extension payments but have not filed a corresponding income tax return.

If you received an EXTNF Information Request letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you had a filing requirement, please check box B, and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland (e.g., copy of W-2, resident income tax return, etc.). If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

The RFLNF Program is a non-filer program based on information received as part of an exchange agreement between Maryland and various neighboring states. When we receive information from a participating state that a taxpayer filed a non-resident income tax return indicating they are a Maryland resident, we review our records to verify that a Maryland resident return has been filed. If we cannot locate a Maryland return, an Information Request- RFLNF letter is issued to the taxpayer.

If you received a RFLNF Information Request letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you have a filing requirement, please check box B, and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland (e.g., copy of W-2, resident income tax return, etc.). If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

The CP2000 Non-filer Program (CPNF) is based on information received from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicating that a taxpayer's federal return was adjusted to include unreported income. The program compares the information to our records and when no Maryland return is located, an Information Request CPNF letter is generated.

If you received a CPNF Information Request letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you have a filing requirement, please check box B, and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland (e.g., copy of W-2, resident income tax return, etc.). If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

The RFLNF Program is a non-filer program which identifies individuals who appear to have a filing requirement but have not filed a Maryland income tax return.

If you received a CPNF Information Request letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you have a filing requirement, please check box B, and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland (e.g., copy of W-2, resident income tax return, etc.). If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

The W-2 Non-filer Program (W2NF) compares our W-2 database against our filing records. When we find that a taxpayer has received a W-2 with income sufficient to require them to file a Maryland income tax return, but has not filed, we issue an Information Request- W2NF letter.

If you received an Information Request- W2NF letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you have a filing requirement, please check box B, and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland (e.g., copy of W-2, resident income tax return, etc.). If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

The 1099 Miscellaneous Non-filer program identifies individuals who have received 1099-MISC income from a Maryland source but have not filed a corresponding income tax return.

If you received a 1099MISCNF Information Request letter but you have previously submitted a Maryland income tax return, please check box A and provide a copy of the Maryland return. If you do not believe that you had a filing requirement, please check box B , and provide an explanation along with documentation substantiating why you were not required to file with the State of Maryland. If you are required to file but have not yet submitted a return, please check box C and submit your completed Maryland income tax return using the envelope provided.

If you have questions about the notice you received, or you can't find your notice defined here, call the phone number on the notice promptly. By calling the number on your notice, you can find out how to resolve the dispute or file an appeal and request a hearing. Failure to respond to the notice may cause us to assess additional penalty and interest charges and result in further collections efforts.

An adjustment notice is issued when a taxpayer's account has been adjusted based on an audit program conducted by the Comptroller of Maryland. The notice indicates the reason for the adjustment and the resulting tax and interest due.

We receive information from the Internal Revenue Service advising us of changes made to a taxpayer's federal return, as a result of an audit. We make an adjustment to the taxpayer's account to incorporate all changes which impact the Maryland return. A Notice of Adjustment (RAR) is issued to notify the taxpayer of the changes made and the resulting tax and interest due.

If you received a Notice of Adjustment (RAR) and do not agree with our adjustment, please provide documentation showing that the federal adjustment has been revised. Acceptable documentation would be an updated federal audit report, or a federal Account Transcript. If an amended return was filed with the IRS response to the audit, please provide a copy of the federal amended return and the IRS acceptance letter. Documentation should be sent to the Compliance Programs Section, as indicated on the notice.

We compare the income reported on a taxpayer's Maryland income tax return against the income reported on their federal return. When the income reported on the Maryland return is less than the income reported on the federal return, the Maryland return is adjusted to increase the income accordingly. A Notice of Adjustment (FAGIM) is issued to notify the taxpayer of the changes made and the resulting tax and interest due.

If you received a Notice of Adjustment (FAGIM) and do not agree with our adjustment, please provide documentation to explain the difference in income along with a copy of your federal income tax return. Documentation should be sent to the Compliance Programs Section, as indicated on the notice.

We receive information from the Internal Revenue Service that indicates they have adjusted a taxpayer's federal income tax return to include income not previously reported. Since the Maryland return is based on the federal return, we adjust the Maryland return to include the unreported income accordingly.

If you received a Notice of Adjustment (CP2000) and do not agree with our adjustment, please provide documentation showing that the federal adjustment has been revised. Acceptable documentation would be an updated federal audit report, or a federal Account Transcript. If an amended return was filed with the IRS in response to the audit, please provide a copy of the federal amended return and the IRS acceptance letter. Documentation should be sent to the Compliance Programs Section, as indicated on the notice.

Notices of Adjustments are issued when a taxpayer's return is adjusted based on one of the following audit programs:

A taxpayer's return is adjusted to eliminate or reduce the Earned Income Credit (EIC), Local EIC and Refundable EIC based on information we received from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Maryland taxpayer's are entitled to claim a credit equal to 50% of the allowable federal EIC.

If you have received this notice and feel it is in error, please provide a copy of your federal income tax return along with an Account Transcript which indicates the credit allowed on your federal return. Documentation should be sent to the Compliance Programs Section, as indicated on the notice.

Maryland income tax law requires taxpayers to add back an amount equal to the tuition and fees deduction claimed on their federal return. Information is received from the IRS identifying Maryland taxpayers who have claimed the tuition and fees deduction on their federal return. If the correct addition is not included on the Maryland return, the return is adjusted to include an addition modification equal to the tuition and fees deduction.

If you have received this notice and feel it is in error, please provide a copy of your federal income tax return along with an Account Transcript. If an amended return was previously filed with the IRS to change or eliminate the deduction, please provide a copy of the federal amended return and the IRS acceptance letter. Documentation should be sent to the Compliance Programs Section, as indicated on the notice.

The amount of withholding taxes claimed on an individual's tax return is matched against the W-2 Wage and Tax Statements provided to the Comptroller's office by the individual's employer. When there is a discrepancy in the amount claimed, the return is adjusted accordingly.

If you have received this notice and feel it is in error, please provide copies of the statements (W-2s, 1099-Rs, etc.) showing the amount of additional Maryland withholding. Documentation should be sent to the Compliance Programs Section, as indicated on the notice.

We verify that taxpayers claiming the pension exclusion had income from a qualifying employee retirement system and were at least 65 years old, or totally disabled, or had a spouse who was totally disabled, during the tax year in question. If our records indicate that one of these criteria is not met, an adjustment is made to eliminate the pension exclusion claimed.

If the individual meets the criteria to claim the exclusion, the amount claimed is then verified to determine that the exclusion has been properly calculated. If we find that there was an error in the calculation, the tax return is adjusted to allow the proper amount of exclusion.

A qualified employee retirement plan must be qualified under Sections 401(a), 403 or 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Foreign pensions do not qualify for the pension exclusion.

To be considered totally disabled, an individual must have a mental or physical impairment which prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The taxpayer must expect the impairment to be of long, continued or indefinite duration or to result in death.

If you received this notice, and feel it is in error, please provide your explanation and documentation to Compliance Programs as indicated on the notice.

Hearing Request (RAR-1202)

In receipt of your correspondence regarding your request for a hearing.

If you have questions about the notice you received, or you can't find your notice defined here, call the phone number on the notice promptly. By calling the number on your notice, you can find out how to resolve the dispute or file an appeal and request a hearing. Failure to respond to the notice may cause us to assess additional penalty and interest charges and result in further collections efforts.

When sales are made at shows or fairs by vendors who do not have a permanent sales and use tax license, the sales tax is collected and remitted on a thirty (30) day Temporary License Form. You can view a sample of COM/ST-203 by clicking the link.

If you are going to participate in an event/ craft show involving the sale of tangible personal property in Maryland, you are required to collect the 6% Maryland sales and use tax, and remit the tax collected to the Comptroller of Maryland on form COM/ST-203, within thirty (30) days of the event.

For a one-time event you must obtain a thirty (30) day Temporary License, to remit any tax collected. A temporary license can be obtained by calling our Business Nexus Unit at 410-767-1543 or 410-767-1531. If you are a promoter, you may also complete and return the Temporary Sales Tax License Information form to templicense@marylandtaxes.gov. You must file the thirty (30) Day Temporary License even if no tax is due.

If you participate in three (3) or more events each year, you are required to obtain a permanent sales tax license. A permanent license can be obtained by visiting our web site at www.marylandtaxes.gov and completing a Combined Registration Application Form.

You did not remit the sales & use tax return by the due date indicated on the return so a Past Due Notice was issued. You must file the sales & use tax return even if no tax is due. For your convenience, there is a sales & use tax return provided at the bottom of the past due notice.

If you have questions about the notice you received, please call the number provided on the notice.

Section 13-408(b) of the Tax General Article, Annotated Code of Maryland provides, "If the Comptroller determines that a person has possessed or transported cigarettes or other tobacco products on which the tobacco tax has not been paid as required under Title 12 of this article, the Comptroller shall assess the tobacco tax due."

It is illegal to purchase cigarettes over the Internet. It is also illegal to bring more than five cartons per person into Maryland from another state. Importing more than five cartons is a felony if transported. See Tax General TG 12-104 and TG 13-1015. The current tax rate is $2.00 per pack of twenty (20).

The Comptroller received information indicating you purchased cigarettes over the Internet or out-of- state. The cigarettes purchased did not have the proper Maryland tobacco stamps affixed. According to our records, neither the Maryland tobacco tax nor the Maryland sales & use tax has been paid as required.

As a result, you, as the consumer who possessed the cigarettes, are responsible for remitting the cigarette tax. In addition, Maryland sales tax is due based on the total cost of the cigarettes.

For additional information, please view Consumer FAQs about Tobacco.

If you have questions about the letter you received, please call the number provided on the letter.

Individual Income Tax Computation Notice

An Individual Income Tax Computation Notice is an initial notice showing the tax and interest currently due on an individual income tax account.

Notice of Income Tax Assessment

A Notice of Income Tax Assessment (NITA) is issued when there is no response to an initial notice or when a tax liability is not resolved or paid within the time indicated on the initial notice. The NITA includes updated interest and a penalty of up to 25% based on the unpaid tax. Appeal rights are provided on this notice.

The Compliance Program Section conducts numerous audits to ensure that tax returns filed with the State of Maryland are in compliance with federal and Maryland income tax laws. Listed below are some of our most common audit programs. You may have received a notice if one of our programs indicated that we need more information, made an adjustment, or an assessment.  Look up your notice under "I Received a Notice" to learn more about a notice you may have received.

  • CP2000 - We received information from the Internal Revenue Service that indicates they adjusted your Federal income tax return to include income not previously reported. Since your Maryland return is based on your federal return, we have adjusted your Maryland return to include the unreported income accordingly.
  • Federal Adjusted Gross Income Match (FAGIM)- As part of our audit program, we compare the amount of income reported on your Maryland income tax return against the income reported on your federal return. According to our records, the income reported to Maryland was less than that reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Since the Maryland return is based on the federal return, we have adjusted your Maryland return to increase the income to agree with what was reported on your federal return.
  • Revenue Agent Report (RAR) - We received information from the Internal Revenue Service advising us of changes they made to your federal return as a result of an audit. We have analyzed the changes made by the Internal Revenue Service and adjusted your Maryland return to incorporate all changes which impacted your Maryland return.
  • Earned Income Credit – We adjusted your return to eliminate or reduce the Earned Income Credit (EIC), Local EIC and Refundable EIC based on information we received from the Internal Revenue Service. The corrected EIC was based on the allowable federal EIC as provided by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Tuition and Fees –Maryland income tax law requires taxpayers to add back an amount equal to the tuition and fees deduction claimed on the federal return. Based on information received from the Internal Revenue Service, you claimed a deduction for tuition and fees on your federal income tax return. According to our records, no corresponding addition modification was reported on your Maryland return. Your Maryland return was adjusted to include an addition modification for the tuition and fees deduction.
  • Withholding Verification- We have adjusted your Maryland income tax return to reduce the Maryland withholding tax claimed to agree with the withholding shown on the wage and tax statements (W-2's) provided to our office by your employer(s).
  • Pension Exclusion – As part of our audit program, we verify the individual claiming the pension exclusion had income from a qualifying employee retirement system and that the individual was at least 65 years old, or totally disabled, or had a spouse who was totally disabled, during the year in question. If our records indicate that one of these criteria is not met, an adjustment is made to eliminate the pension exclusion claimed. If the individual meets the criteria to claim the exclusion, the amount claimed is then verified to ensure that the exclusion was properly calculated. If we find that it was not properly calculated, an adjustment is made to allow the correct amount of pension exclusion.
  • General Audit – Maryland income tax law allows the Comptroller to independently audit Maryland income tax returns. As part of our audit program, we had previously contacted you and requested that documentation be provided to substantiate items (such as, itemized deductions, business expenses, etc.) claimed on your Maryland return. If no documentation was provided, your return was adjusted to eliminate all the items in question. If documentation was provided, your account was adjusted to allow the items properly substantiated.

Statute of Limitations

Generally the Comptroller's Office has three (3) years to audit a tax return from the due date of the return or the date the return was filed, whichever is later. However, there is no statue of limitations when there has been a change made to the federal return by the IRS and the taxpayer fails to notify the Comptroller's Office within ninety (90) days of the final determination by the IRS. If the Comptroller's Office is notified within the ninety (90) days, the Comptroller's Office has one (1) year to assess the deficiency.

If you have question regarding any of our audit programs, you may call (410) 767-1966 or toll free at 1 (800) 648-9638.



  • You did not pay the full amount due with your return.
  • A correction was made to your return when it was processed which resulted in additional tax due.
  • Your return was adjusted based on an audit which resulted in additional tax due.

Look up your notice under "I Received a Notice" to learn more about the notice you received and what to do next. If you have questions about the notice you received, you may call the number provided on the notice you've received to speak with a representative.

If you lived in Maryland during the year indicated on your notice and you believe you have filed a Maryland income tax return, please provide a copy of the return along with all attachments such as W-2's and 1099(s), also provide a copy of the cancelled check(s) of any payment made with your return.

If you have questions call (410) 767-1966 or toll free 1 (800) 648-9638. Please don't assume the problem will go away, even if you believe the notice is incorrect.

If you need additional help, please contact us to Get Help!

There are several reasons why you may not have filed a Maryland return. We have information that indicates that you should have.

You may have received an Information Request Notice from the Comptroller's Office if you filed a federal income tax return using a Maryland address, but did not file a return with the State of Maryland. As part of our non-filer program, we compare our records against information received from the Internal Revenue Service to identify Maryland residents who have not filed a Maryland income tax return. Individuals, who are identified as non-filers, are issued an Information Request notice. Your response to the notice helps us determine whether you are required to file a Maryland tax return.

If you were in the military and were a resident of another state, please send us a copy of your military W-2 or your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) for the year in question. Remember, if you earned non-military income in Maryland, a non-resident income tax return must be filed.

If you were required to file a federal return but not required to file a Maryland return due to the exclusion of social security and/or railroad retirement income, please send us a copy of your social security and/or railroad retirement statement.

If you were a resident of another state for the year in question, please provide a copy of the other state's income tax return with attachments, such as W-2(s) and 1099(s). If the other state does not have an income tax, please provide a written statement indicating where you were a resident for the applicable tax period along with copies of all W-2(s) or other income statements.

If you did not live in Maryland during the year in question, please provide an explanation as to why a Maryland address was used on your federal income tax return.

If you have questions or your situation doesn't fit into any of the examples listed above, call (410) 767-1966 or toll free 1 (800) 648-9638. Please don't assume the problem will go away, even if you believe the notice is incorrect.

Please mail your completed return with any payment due in the envelope provided with the notice. If you need forms please call our office at (410) 260-7951 get the form from the Individual Tax Forms section.

If you lived in Maryland for only a part of the year, you may be required to file a return as either a part-year resident or nonresident. Click here to determine your residency status to find out which form you should file.

If you have questions or your situation doesn't fit into any of the examples listed above, call (410) 767-1966 or toll free 1 (800) 648-9638. Please don't assume the problem will go away, even if you believe the notice is incorrect.

All requested documentation should be sent along with the Information Request notice to: Comptroller of Maryland, 301 W. Preston Street, Room 404, Baltimore, MD 21201.

The Compliance Division receives referrals and complaints from taxpayers and concerned citizens for investigation. When they do, we look into it and determine if any action is necessary and we will send you notification.

In order to report a concern, please contact cdfieldaudit@marylandtaxes.gov.