What Happens If I Don't Pay?

Enforcement Actions

If you refuse to make payment arrangements, or you fail to follow through on arrangements that you have made, the Comptroller's Office may enforce any combination of the following actions against you. For information about each enforcement action, follow the links below.

Slow Down... You Won't Get Your License or Car Registration Renewed If You Don't Pay Up!

The Motor Vehicle Administration, the Maryland Department of Labor and the Comptroller are partnering to make sure that everyone pays their fair share. State law requires that individuals and businesses that have unpaid, undisputed state tax liabilities and/or unpaid unemployment insurance contributions satisfy the debt(s) prior to renewing a Maryland driver's license or vehicle registration. 

If you have unpaid individual income taxes and are not in an approved payment plan, you can request a payment arrangement online, by email at mvahold@marylandtaxes.gov, by calling the Comptroller's Collection Unit toll free at 855-213-6669, or in person at one of the Comptroller's 12 local branch offices. Please include your name, address, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, case number or notice number and your phone number in your e-mail message. This will help us generate a quick response to your inquiry.

If you have unpaid business taxes and are not in an approved payment plan, you can request a payment arrangement by calling Business Tax Collections at  410-649-0633 or emailing cdcollectionbizz@marylandtaxes.gov.

If your business has unpaid unemployment insurance contributions and is not already in an approved payment plan, you can make payment arrangements by contacting the Maryland Department of Labor at 410-368-5440 or via email at uiskip@dllr.state.md.us.

Don't let unpaid taxes slow you down!

For more important information on this new law and how you can pay your debt quickly, check out the links below.

Penalty and Interest Charges

If you do not respond to the first notice, you will receive an assessment notice that will include substantial penalty and interest charges. Under Maryland law, the assessment notice is presumed correct, and you would be required to file an appeal and request a hearing within 30 days of the assessment in order to dispute the amount due. Collection procedures will begin after the expiration of the 30-day period to appeal the assessment.

Your assessment will depend on the amount of taxes that we believe you owe. Maryland law requires us to charge interest at the annual rate of 11% during calendar year 2019, 10.5% during calendar year 2020, 10% during calendar year 2021, and 9.5% during calendar year 2022. Interest will be calculated from the date the return was originally due. Penalty charges for late payments can be up to 25 percent of the amount of tax you owe.

If you do not settle your account promptly after you receive an assessment notice, legal action will begin that may include filing a property lien or attaching your bank accounts and salary, or referring your account to an outside collection agency.

You can file an appeal within 30 days of an assessment.

For assistance in calculating interest for unpaid taxes, click here to use the Maryland Unpaid Tax Interest Calculator.

Liabilities due to various state agencies, including the Comptroller, are matched against state and federal tax refunds, federal vendor payments and state vendor payments.

When a liability is matched to a payment, a letter is mailed to the taxpayer or vendor listing the billing agency, the invoice date, and amount. This letter also identifies the type of tax or liability due and the appropriate state agency telephone number needed to resolve the issue. If the liability is not satisfied, the intercepted funds will be applied to your account and the taxpayer or vendor will receive notification of same.

If the liability is not satisfied, the intercepted funds will be applied directly to that liability and the taxpayer or vendor will receive notification of same

Notice to Employers: Salary Lien Provision for Unpaid Income Taxes

The Maryland legislature, in its 2002 session, passed a bill that changed the amount to be exempted from the salary lien provision of the income tax law in order to conform with amounts for other wage liens listed in the Commercial Law Article, Section 15-601-1. What is currently exempted under the Commercial Law Article for wage liens now applies to the income tax law.

The amount exempt from the wage lien is the greater of:

  • $145 times the number of weeks in which the wages due were earned, or
  • 75% of disposable wages due;
  •  less medical insurance payments deducted by the employer from the employees wages.

In Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne's and Worcester counties, for each work week, the greater of;

  • 75% of disposable wages due, or
  • 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage at the time the wages are due.
  •  less medical insurance payments deducted by the employer from the employees wages

Disposable wages are calculated by reducing the gross wage by the deductions required by law. Voluntary deductions such as credit union payments, charitable contributions, IRA, etc. are not included in the definition of disposable wages and should not be deducted before the computation is made.

The changes became effective July 1, 2002.

For example, if married with 2 exemptions, the calculation is as follows:

Gross Wages


Federal Tax


State Tax




Disposable Wages


Exemption (75%)




Less Medical Insurance Payments by Employee


Amount Due to State Under Salary Lien


If you have any questions, please contact our Collection Section at 410-260-7966

External Collection Agency Referral

We may assign your case to one or more of the following collection agencies. Additional fees may apply. Once your case has been assigned, arrangements for payment must be made through that agency.

IC System
444 Highway 96 East
St. Paul, MN 55127
Phone: 1-888-255-5745
Penn Credit
2800 Commerce Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 1-800-900-1360

Business and Professional License Hold

The state and local agencies listed below must verify that an applicant renewing a license has paid all states taxes due - or made a satisfactory payment arrangement - before the license can be renewed:

  • Comptroller of Maryland
  • Clerks of the Circuit Court
  • Maryland Department of Labor
  • Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Motor Vehicles Administration
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of the Environment

If you hold a license issued by one of these agencies, you should file any necessary tax returns and pay all taxes due without delay. If you wait until license renewal time to resolve a tax liability, your renewal may be delayed

Once the tax issue has been resolved, the Comptroller's Office will notify the appropriate agency.

You may contact us for additional information.

Individual Income Taxes
Phone: 410-974-2432 or 1-888-674-0016
Fax: 410-974-3053
E-mail: cdcollectionind@marylandtaxes.gov

Business Taxes
Phone: 410-649-0633
Fax: 410-333-7499
E-mail: cdcollectionbizz@marylandtaxes.gov

File a Tax Lien

A notice of tax lien may be filed with the clerk of the circuit court where your business or residence is located. The lien has the same force and effect as a court issued judgment lien. A lien may affect your ability to maintain existing credit, secure new credit, or obtain a security clearance. The recorded lien serves as notice that the state may have a claim against your assets.

If you pay your tax lien, a certified copy of your release of lien must be submitted to the credit reporting agencies to have your credit report promptly updated to reflect your lien release. You may obtain a certified copy of your release from the circuit court where your tax lien was filed. The Comptroller does report lien releases to the credit agencies but if you need expedited service, it is your responsibility to obtain the required certified copy and contact the credit agency to update your credit report. 

Attach Your Assets

The Comptroller of Maryland regularly requests the seizure of bank accounts and also has the ability to seize liquor licenses, cash on the premises, equipment, vehicles, inventory and real property.

Any money the state owes you for goods or services, or as a personal or corporation income tax refund will either be applied to unpaid tax balances or held pending the filing of missing returns.

Caught in the Web

The Comptroller of Maryland is serious about retrieving unresolved tax liabilities. As a part of the collection process, we publish the names of businesses, individuals and corporate officers having large unresolved liabilities - including individuals who have large unresolved personal income tax liabilities. All of the information is public since liens and judgments have been recorded in the judgment dockets of one or more circuit courts of Maryland.

No one is above the tax laws. If you don't want to see your name posted on our site along with other tax delinquents, be sure to keep up with your tax obligations. 

If your name appears in the listing, you should contact the Comptroller's Office to make arrangements to resolve the liability. For business tax liabilities call 410-767-1601. For individual tax liabilities call 410-260-7482, 260-7623 or 1-800-MD-TAXES or e-mail sut@marylandtaxes.gov for either tax.

This is an ongoing program to assure that everyone pays his or her fair share of taxes. Names will be added periodically. If you have not already done so, resolve any deficiencies prior to being selected for the list.


2018 Tax Evasion: Top 20 Individuals and Top 25 Business Tax Evaders

Other Collections Actions

If you refuse to make payment arrangements, or you fail to follow through on arrangements that you have made, the Comptroller's Office may file a lien against you, attach your assets, file an estimated assessment for taxes due in the unreported periods, place a hold on driver?s or professional license or institute other legal processes.  For information about each enforcement action, follow the links below.

Collection Action

Annotated Code of Maryland - Tax-General Article

Penalty and Interest

  • Business Collections
  • Individual Collections






Rates 13-604

Liability Offset Program


Salary Lien


Property Lien/Lien in Judgment

13-805, 13-806, 13-807, 13-808, 13-809

External Collection Agency Referral


Attach Your Assets


Business & Professional License Hold


Motor Vehicle License and Registration Non-renewal


Caught in the Web!