Assistance Programs

Below is a collection of the programs offered to assist taxpayers in achieving tax compliance.

A tax collector may waive interest and penalty for reasonable cause. Each account will be reviewed to verify that all criteria have been met. For example, no abatement will be considered if you are not current with your tax filings.

In cases where the taxpayer is unable to pay the tax in full and all other efforts to resolve the liability have been unsuccessful, the account may be referred to the Comptroller's Case Review Board for resolution.

The Offer in Compromise Program is used to resolve tax liabilities with the Comptroller when the taxpayer is unable to pay in full and all other efforts to resolve the liability have been unsuccessful. This program can be used for all taxes administered by the Comptroller including the Admissions and Amusement Tax, Income Tax, Sales and Use Tax and Withholding Tax.

The Offer in Compromise Program is not an appeal of the taxpayer's liability. Instead, under the program we look at your available resources, consider the resources in the light of your circumstances, and arrive at an equitable resolution of your liability by considering a reduction or abatement of the amount due.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to apply for this program you must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • You have incurred a delinquent tax liability that has resulted in an assessment.
  • You have declined to pursue or exhausted all avenues of administrative appeal. You cannot make an offer in compromise if there is any issue currently under appeal.
  • Two years must have passed since you became liable for the tax.
  • You must have filed all returns required to be filed with the Comptroller's Office or have been assessed by the Comptroller's office for not filing a required tax return.
  • You must not be currently involved in an open bankruptcy proceeding.
  • For taxes owed by a business or the officers of the business, the business must be closed.
  • You are unlikely to be able to make payment in full any time in the foreseeable future due to your financial situation. You either are without resources or unable to apply present and/or future resources to paying the outstanding tax liability.

Comptroller's Procedures for Offers in Compromise

Applications submitted by individuals and businesses will be reviewed by a designee of the individual or business tax collections sections to determine if the applications satisfy all eligibility requirements. If eligible, your application will be sent for review by a Case Review Board. The board is comprised of several employees from various sections of the Comptroller's Compliance Division. The board will review the Offer in Compromise and determine if there is sufficient reason for a reduction or abatement of the tax due.

If the Comptroller's office determines that your offer is acceptable, you will be notified in writing of acceptance and provided payment instructions if payment is required. If the Comptroller's office determines that grounds for adjustment exist but the amount offered by is insufficient, our office will contact you with an acceptable amount. If the Comptroller’s office determines that no grounds for adjustment exist, you will be notified in writing that your offer has been declined.

If your offer is denied, you can resubmit your application and offer at a later date and the Comptroller's Office will reconsider your offer if your personal or financial circumstances have changed. If resubmitting an offer or requesting the reconsideration of an offer, you must explain the circumstances that changed since the original application and submit documents showing the change in your personal or financial circumstances with the offer. If you receive a notice that your offer has been declined or a counteroffer that you are unable to afford, you may also contact the Comptroller's office to submit a counteroffer for review.

All decisions under the Offer in Compromise Program are final and cannot be appealed. Therefore, you should fill out the application form and financial statements as thoroughly as possible and you should submit the best offer that you are financially able to afford with your application. Please note that your offer may be for a one–time payment tax or less than tax due, a payment plan for tax or less than tax due or zero dollars if you are unable to any pay tax due.

If your offer is accepted, you must remain current with respect to future filings for at least three years after acceptance. If you do not, the full liability will become due immediately, and the Comptroller will take all necessary action to collect.

To apply, please see Offer in Compromise Forms and Instructions below.

For more information about the Offer in Compromise Program, e-mail us at or call 410-767-1557 or 1-888-674-0020.

Please verify that you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements above before completing the required forms.

When you complete Form MD 656, you should address all of the reasons you believe you cannot, or should not, pay the full amount due. You should offer an amount you are able to pay. A mere unwillingness to pay will not excuse you. We will consider the following circumstances when deciding whether or not to accept your offer in compromise:

  • Doubt as to liability:If you believe you don't owe the amount due, you must include with Form MD 656 a detailed explanation of the reason(s) you believe you do not owe the tax.
  • Insufficient resources:If you don't have enough assets or income to pay the full amount, you must include with Form MD 656 a complete financial statement, Form MD 433-A for individuals and/or Form MD 433-B for businesses
  • Economic or other hardship:If you have enough assets to pay the full amount, but believe that because of your exceptional circumstances requiring full payment would cause an economic hardship or would be unfair and inequitable, you must include with Form MD 656 a complete financial statement, Form MD 433-A and/or Form MD 433-B.

Forms: Offer in Compromise Collection Information Statement Submit Form MD 656 and MD 433-A and/or MD 433-B to:

Offer in Compromise Program
Comptroller of Maryland
301 West Preston Street, Room 203
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

To follow-up on the status of an Offer in Compromise submitted for individual income tax please call 410-974-2432 from Central Maryland or 1-888-674-0016 from elsewhere. To follow-up on the status of an Offer in Compromise submitted for business tax (sales and use tax, withholding tax, corporate income tax, etc.) please call 410-649-0633 from Central Maryland or 1-888-614-6337 from elsewhere.

For more information about the Offer in Compromise Program, email us at or call 410-767-1555 from Central Maryland or 1-888-674-0020 from elsewhere.

The forms contained in these pages are in the ADOBE .PDF format (Portable Document Format). You must have version 3.0 or higher of the ADOBE Acrobat Reader program to view and print these forms. ADOBE Acrobat Reader is available for free online. These forms also have been formatted with a fill-in feature that allows you to type information into them on your computer and then print out a paper copy. If you are having problems viewing ADOBE.PDF files, please view our special instructions.

Using Downloadable Forms

In order to view .PDF files you need a .PDF reader supported by your devices operating system.

PDF for Windows

If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, you will need to do so in order to view tax forms, instruction guides, and other .PDF files on our Web sites.

Occasionally, .PDF files such as tax forms, worksheets, and instructions may not open automatically in your Internet browser. If you encounter this problem, you must first download and save the file to your computer before viewing it. Upon saving the file to your hard drive, you may view the file by opening it with the Adobe Acrobat Reader software.

PDF for Safari on Mac

Use the newest Safari Version: Visit

Using the Safari Built in Viewer: using Safari version 5.1.X or higher, and you get a blank screen on your Mac when you try to open .PDFs in Safari, you need to install Adobe plug-ins installed that are older than version 10.1.3.  To do so:

  1. Backup your Mac
  2. Press and hold COMMAND + TAB to bring up your Mac's application switcher, 
  3. Click TAB key, while still holding down the COMMAND key, until the selector lands on "Finder" 
  4. Release the COMMAND and TAB keys.
  5. Click on the "Go" menu at the top of the screen.
  6. Select "Go to folder" 
  7. Copy and paste the folder path into the pop-up window: "/Library/Internet Plug-ins".  A new folder window will open, showing a list of all the browser plug-ins installed.  You should see one, or more files with, AdobePDFViewer. Sort alphabetically if you need to.
  8. Drag the old Adobe plug-ins into the Trash
  9. Quit and restart Safari
  10. Try opening a PDF in Safari again and yes, it should work, using Safari's own "native" PDF reader.

Using the newest Adobe PDF Viewer Plug-in in Safari:

Tax Forms Containing 2-D Barcodes

Adobe Reader for Mobile (Android, iPhone, iPad)

For information about Adobe Reader on mobile platforms, visit

General Instructions for downloading .PDF Files

The following instructions explain how to download a file from our Web site and view it using ADOBE Acrobat Reader.

  1. Position your mouse pointer over the form you wish to download.
  2. Right-click on the link (press the right button on your mouse).
  3. Select "Save target as..." or "Save link as..." from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the "Save as..." window, select the location on your computer where you want to store the file, and click "OK".
  5. The download should start. Once it is complete, open the file with Adobe Acrobat Reader.