Income Tax FAQs

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 For more information, see Electronic Filing.

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 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

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 new Maryland Power of Attorney Forms are now available.

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

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.

17. Can I pay my personal income tax liability with a credit card?

You can pay your Maryland tax with a credit card, using VISA, MasterCard, 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.

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 10% per year on any tax paid after the original due date of the 2020 return but before January 1, 2022.

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.

For more information, see Nonresidents.

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.

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.

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. 

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.    

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. In 2019, House Bill 387 expanded the existing State subtraction modification to qualified Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) law enforcement officers. The bill took effect July 1, 2019 and applies to tax year 2019 and beyond.

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.