Office of the Comptroller

Mission Statement

It is the responsibility of the Comptroller's Office of Maryland to provide the very latest tax and financial information to residents. In addition, it is incumbent upon every member of this agency to adhere to the three R's: treating taxpayers with respect, ensuring that we are responsive to taxpayer needs, and getting results in a timely manner.

Further, it is our mandate to provide a transparent, lighted path forward in government; opening the Free State's books and deciphering in the clearest way possible how taxpayer dollars are spent, and what Marylanders get in return for their hard work.

The Comptroller of Maryland and the entire agency stand at the ready to serve the taxpayers, vendors, and tax professionals of Maryland.

FY 2024 Strategic Goals

Our Organization

Organizational Chart

Contact Information

Comptroller of Maryland
brooke@marylandtaxes.gov or comptroller@marylandtaxes.gov
Phone: 410-260-7980
Tax help taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov

Rianna P. Matthews-Brown, Chief of Staff
Andrew Schaufele, Chief Deputy Comptroller
Renee Nacrelli, Counsel to the Comptroller


About the Office of the Comptroller of Maryland

The Comptroller is one of four statewide elected officials in Maryland. Unique among state financial officers, Maryland's Comptroller has diverse and far-reaching responsibilities that touch the lives of every Marylander.

The Comptroller of Maryland is the:

  • Chief financial officer for Maryland
  • Collector of revenue for state programs
  • Provider of information technology services for most state agencies
  • Regulator of the state's motor fuel industries
  • Member of many state boards and commissions

You have to go back to the 15th century to find the origin of the word "comptroller," which means "financial officer." Interestingly, "comptroller" has also often been erroneously associated with the French word compte, which translates as "calculation."

A recent survey found a slight majority who prefer to say "comptroller" - with emphasis on the "p" - but almost half still use the old English pronunciation, "controller." Take your pick.

Nine other states, mostly eastern, use "comptroller" and four use "controller." Texas has a "Comptroller of Public Accounts" and South Carolina has a "Comptroller General." The rest use versions of treasurer or auditor, while two don't appear to have any financial officer with a title. Alaska has a "Commissioner of Administration." Maryland's 1851 Constitution calls for the "Comptroller of the Treasury" to "superintend fiscal affairs...for the support of the public credit."

Since the office was created by the Maryland Constitution of 1851, it has grown from a comptroller and one clerk to an agency of 1,100 employees.

The principal duty of this office is to collect taxes. With a budget of $110 million, the agency collects approximately $16 billion a year in state and local tax revenue and provides 12 branch offices throughout the state.

The major revenue sources are individual and business income taxes and sales and use taxes. The agency also collects taxes on motor fuel, estates, admissions and amusement, and alcohol and tobacco. It also tests motor fuel to ensure the quality of the product for the consumer.

By enforcing the collection of use tax, the comptroller's goal is to provide a level playing field for local businesses in competing with out-of-state retailers who sell through catalogs and on the Internet.

The comptroller audits taxpayers for compliance, handles delinquent tax collection, and enforces license and unclaimed property laws. The agency publicizes forgotten bank accounts, insurance benefits and other unclaimed assets of taxpayers.

The office provides information technology services critical to the daily operation of most state agencies. Acting as Maryland's chief accountant, the comptroller pays the state's bills, maintains its books, prepares financial reports, and pays state employees.

Links

The history of the comptroller's office parallels Maryland's history. Both have been filled with great leaders, un-sung heroes, intrigue, and conflict. Like Maryland's other elected officials, the 30 people who have served as comptrollers have affected the lives of citizens in many ways since 1851.

The "Comptroller of the Treasury" was created by the state constitution of 1851 to have "general superintendence of the fiscal affairs of the state." More specifically, the Comptroller's Office was created to keep watch over the State Treasurer whose activities were going unchecked.

The first comptroller, Philip Francis Thomas, had a salary of $2,500 and a staff of one clerk. This first office provided the money and accounting that made the government work and still does today. Comptroller Thomas and his early counterparts put together fiscal reports, printed piles of forms and collected revenue from lotteries and property taxes as well as license fees for peddling, hunting and fishing and getting married. The first comptrollers also spent a lot of their time signing forms until the office was able to obtain an official signature stamp in 1858.

Maryland's comptrollers have been lawyers, doctors, bankers, miners, newspapermen, teachers and farmers and all of them have been men. Some have had a huge impact on how we live today. Some have made a difference in a quieter way.

Comptroller Biographies

The public's right to information about government activities lies at the heart of a democratic government. Maryland's Public Information Act (PIA) grants the people of this State a broad right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens. PIA requests made for information owned by the Comptroller of Maryland will be reviewed and processed per all applicable laws. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General (OAG) ensures that state agencies fairly, expeditiously, and correctly implement the Act when requests are made, while also protecting rights of privacy and other public policy goals.

For general information about the Public Information Act, review Access to Government Records Under the Maryland Public Information Act, Appendix I-1 from the Maryland Public Information Act Manual (14th Ed., October 2015) which is provided in full below.

Submission of PIA Requests to the Comptroller of Maryland

All requests for records maintained by the Comptroller of Maryland pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act should be submitted via this website, email or mail.

If requesting confidential taxpayer information, you will be required to provide proof of identity and/or authorization to receive the information requested. Authorization to receive confidential taxpayer information relating to a third‐party can be granted using Maryland Form 548: Power of Attorney, the form may be accessed at: https://www.marylandtaxes.gov/forms/current_forms/548.pdf.

Fees may be waived in certain cases of financial hardship or if waiver is in the public interest. To apply for a waiver on the basis of indigency, please complete the Affidavit of Indigency using the link below
http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/OpenGov%20Documents/Appendix_D.pdf

A new online submission form will be available soon.

OR

To download the Public information Act (PIA) Records Request Form, please click here. You can email the filled form to pia@marylandtaxes.gov or mail it to the below address:

Alex Butler
Public Information Act Representative
80 Calvert Street
P.O. Box 466
Annapolis, MD 21404-0466
(410) 260-6289
PIA@marylandtaxes.gov

The OAG maintains a current list of State, county and municipal PIA representatives. For further information on OAG PIA requests please visit their website.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most commonly requested records contain:

  • Income Tax information
  • Sales and Use Tax information
  • Uncashed check information
  • Unclaimed property information
  • State employee salary information

Generally, requests for tax information relating to a third-party (someone other than individual making the request) must be accompanied by a completed and signed Maryland Form 548: Power of Attorney document. The form may be accessed at: https://www.marylandtaxes.gov/forms/current_forms/548.pdf

.
  • A completed and signed Maryland Form 548: Power of Attorney document is not included with a request for a third-party's tax information (see above).
  • The records are not within the possession of the agency. Please note that the Office of the Comptroller does not maintain records relating to individual Property Tax assessments. Property Tax records are maintained by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (https://dat.maryland.gov/newsroom/Pages/default.aspx).

If the search for and preparation of requested records exceeds two hours a fee may be charged. Not including the initial two hours, the fee is calculated by prorating the salaries of the staff and attorneys involved in the response by the actual time spent searching for and preparing the records for disclosure. For example, if an employee's salary is $100.00 per hour, and the employee spends four hours searching for and preparing the requested records, the fee assessed would be $200.00 (note again that the first two hours are not included in the fee). Additionally, if paper copies of records are requested there is a $0.25 per page fee.

Yes, fees may be waived in certain cases of financial hardship or if waiver is in the public interest. To apply for a waiver on the basis of indigency, please complete the Affidavit of Indigency using the link below and include it with your submission: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/OpenGov%20Documents/Appendix_D.pdf

Maryland Public Information Act References and Revisions

A resource for both government officials seeking to meet their responsibilities under the Act and members of the press and public seeking access to information.

Updates to the Manual are maintained by the OAG, made online, and revision dates are posted in the table below.

Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the .PDF files below.

Chapter Content Revised Date
Overview Preface and Table of Contents October 2015
Chapter 1 Scope and Agency Responsibilities October 2015
Chapter 2 Right of Access to Records October 2015
Chapter 3 Exceptions to Disclosure October 2015
Chapter 4 Request Procedures October 2015
Chapter 5 Administrative and Judicial Review October 2015
Chapter 6 Copies October 2015
Chapter 7 Fees October 2015
Chapter 8 Remedies October 2015
Chapter 9 Research Access October 2015
Chapter 10 The Right to Correction or Amendment of Public Records October 2015
Chapter 11 Restrictions on the Creation and Collection of Personal Records October 2015
Appendix A Sample Request Letter October 2015
Appendix B Sample 10-Day Letter (or E-Mail) October 2015
Appendix C Sample Denial Letter October 2015
Appendix D Affidavit of Indigency October 2015
Appendix E PIA Annotated Code of Maryland General Provisions Article October 2015
Appendix F Model Regulations on Public Information Act October 2015
Appendix G Opinions of the Attorney General on the Maryland PIA October 2015
Appendix H Responding to Requests Under the Maryland PIA October 2015
Appendix I Access to Government Records Under the Maryland PIA October 2015
Appendix J Public Information Act Representatives October 2015

Comptroller of Maryland Transparency in Reporting

The Comptroller of Maryland is committed to providing fiscal transparency in reporting of state revenues and expenditures so that the public knows where state revenues originate, how the revenues are spent, and how their own tax dollars are distributed. Specifically, the Comptroller's Office was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association for its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) which includes the financial statements of the State, as well as information required by Title 2, Section 102 of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  For a list of detailed reports, follow the links below:

Building upon the agency’s commitment to stellar customer service, the agency created a new unit dedicated to providing taxpayers with a high-level contact for tax issues that haven't been resolved adequately. The Ombudsman's Office, led by Dana Frank Buker, is dedicated to helping taxpayers navigate government channels and come to a swift resolution of their problems.

Ombudsman

If you have a problem with the Comptroller's Office that you are unable to resolve through routine channels, the Comptroller's ombudsman may be able to help.

The ombudsman can:

  • Respond to your inquiries about unresolved tax matters including mistakes made, undue delays, poor or misleading information or staff behavior;
  • Ensure that the appropriate staff person reviews your complaints;
  • Provide you with a written response about the Department's decision, if needed;
  • Inform you of what action, if any, you should take to resolve the issue, and
  • Assist you in understanding your rights and responsibilities under the Maryland Tax Statute.

The ombudsman cannot:

  • Review complaints relating to tax policy or legislation
  • Review matter that are before the courts
  • Automatically stop legal action being taken by the Comptroller's Office to collect a liability
  • Review complaints that other statutory bodies would deal with
Contact Information

Comptroller's Ombudsman: Dana Frank Buker
Telephone number: 410-260-4020
E-mail: ombudsman@marylandtaxes.gov
Address: 80 Calvert Street, PO Box 466, Annapolis, MD 21404-0466

Maryland Relay is a public service provided by the Maryland Department of Budget and Management/Telecommunications Access of Maryland, which enables standard telephone users to communicate with deaf, hard - of - hearing, deaf/blind or speech - disabled people who use a TTY. For more information you can visit their web site, https://doit.maryland.gov/mdrelay/ or call the following numbers.

Access Numbers

  1. 7-1-1 (in Maryland)
  2. 1-800-735-2258 (Anywhere)
  3. 410-260-7157 or 410-767-1967 (Baltimore Metro TTY)
  4. 301-949-6032 (Wheaton TTY)
  5. 1-888-VCO-WORD =1-888-826-9673 (for VCO)
  6. 1-877-735-5151 (for ASCII)
  7. 1-800-785-5630 (MD Speech-to-Speech Relay)
  8. 1-900-386-3323 (900 call via MD Relay)

Contact Us by Phone

For any tax type not covered below, please call us at 410-260-7980, or 1-800-638-2937 outside of Central Maryland.

Topic Phone Number Toll-Free Number
Bulk Sales (on sale of business) 410-767-1941 from the Baltimore area 1-800-492-1751 from elsewhere in Maryland
Business Licenses 410-260-6240 from Central Maryland 1-866-239-9359 from elsewhere in Maryland
Estate Tax 410-260-7850 from Central Maryland 1-800-MD TAXES(1-800-638-2937)  from elsewhere
Income Tax Refund Status 410-260-7701 from Central Maryland 1-800-218-8160 from elsewhere in Maryland
Motor Fuel Tax 410-260-7215 from Central Maryland 1-888-784-0142 from elsewhere in Maryland
Tax Clearance Certificate 410-260-7813 from Central Maryland  
Tax Fraud/Non-Compliance-Individual Taxes 410-767-1322  
Tax Practitioner Hotline (for Tax Professionals) 410-260-7424  
Unclaimed Property 410-767-1700 from the Baltimore area 1-800-782-7383 from elsewhere

Contact Us by Email

Email Security Warning!

When sending an email to the Comptroller of Maryland, do not include information such as your full social security number (use only the last 4 digits), bank account numbers, routing numbers, or any other sensitive information.

If you wish to send sensitive information, email a description of the issue (without the sensitive data), and let us know you have confidential information to send. We will reply back via an encrypted email account, which will have "#secure#" in the email subject. In reply to the secured email, you may then provide the additional detail, including the sensitive information.

General Information
taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov
A service which provides assistance and general information regarding Maryland tax returns, notices and other agency matters.
Comptroller Brooke Lierman
Brooke@marylandtaxes.gov
Have a question or comment for State Comptroller Brooke Lierman?
Comptroller Executive Staff
Comptroller@marylandtaxes.gov
Need to contact Comptroller Lierman’s team?
Alcohol Tax
att@mdatc.gov
For manufacturers, transporters, and wholesale distributors of alcoholic beverages into, within and out of Maryland.
Bureau of Revenue Estimates
bre@marylandtaxes.gov
Provides staff support to the Board of Revenue Estimates, which is responsible for estimating state revenues. Maintains detailed data and forecasts on state revenues and the state economy.
Tax Investigation Unit
cdcprograms@marylandtaxes.gov
To report suspected tax fraud/non-compliance concerning individual taxes.
Central Payroll Bureau
cpb@marylandtaxes.gov
Responsible for issuing paychecks to all state employees, except those in the Mass Transit Administration. Handles deductions, payroll taxes, W-2 forms, and other payroll reports for state government.
Compliance Division
compliance@marylandtaxes.gov
The division's primary functions are auditing and collecting various business and personal income taxes. Operating sections include Administration, Auditing, Collections, and Hearings and Appeals.
Electronic Filing Program
efil@marylandtaxes.gov
For online filers, tax preparers, and software developers with questions or comments about Maryland's electronic filing program for personal and corporate income tax returns.
Estate Tax
estatetaxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov
For help or questions with filing of form MET1 and other Maryland Estate tax forms
Feedback
feedback@marylandtaxes.gov
Let us know how the Comptroller's Office can better meet your needs through the services we offer and how we can make this site more useful to you.
General Accounting Division
gad@marylandtaxes.gov
Maintains the state's accounting records and accounts for all state funds received and disbursed. Countersigns and distributes all State Treasury checks.
Motor Fuel Tax
MFTLicenses@marylandtaxes.gov
For motor fuel dealers and diesel fuel sellers and users, commercial motor carriers, and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) members.
Sales and Use Tax
sut@marylandtaxes.gov
For business and individual taxpayers with questions about the state sales and use tax.
Corporate Information Reporting
cdcombinedreporting@marylandtaxes.gov
For business taxpayers with questions about corporate information reporting.
State License Bureau
slb@marylandtaxes.gov
Responsible for enforcing local revenue laws which require business licenses.
Tax Information for Tax Professionals
taxprohelp@marylandtaxes.gov
For tax professionals with questions about income tax law and client accounts.
Tax Forms
taxforms@marylandtaxes.gov
For requesting tax forms and instructions.
Tobacco Tax
att@mdatc.gov
For manufacturers, transporters, and wholesale distributors of tobacco products into, within and out of Maryland.
Unclaimed Property
unclaim@marylandtaxes.gov
Financial assets, such as bank accounts, insurance benefits and wages that remain unclaimed for three years must be reported to the Maryland State Comptroller's Office. The comptroller serves as custodian of these unclaimed funds and maintains a database to help locate the legal owners.

If you are unsure of the appropriate e-mail address to use, please e-mail the General Information account.