With the rough economy and decreasing revenues, many Marylanders found themselves unable to pay their taxes and severely penalized for their mistake.
In response to this set of circumstances, while keeping in mind the current budget deficit, I have introduced Senate Bill 763 - a tax amnesty program for currently delinquent taxpayers. By establishing this tax amnesty program, the State of Maryland would be able to reclaim currently unpaid taxes while also reducing the burden on citizens who have fallen behind on their tax payments. This is not a new idea. The state has had two amnesty programs since 2000, each of them generating over $20 Million for the General Fund, and allowing for those who have erred to mend their ways.
Let me be clear – this does not allow citizens to avoid paying owed taxes, it merely reduces some of the penalties and allows for payment plans to make it more likely that those in arrears will come forward. Under this legislation, the Comptroller would declare an amnesty period for the months of September and October. This amnesty program for delinquent taxpayers would remove all civil penalties and remove half of the interest attributable to nonpayment, non-reporting, or underreporting of specified taxes under some circumstances. The bill would also authorize the Comptroller to enter into agreements to provide a waiver under some circumstances with respect to taxes that a taxpayer agrees to pay in accordance with the terms and schedule established in the agreement.
It is my belief that this legislation will help the state collect owed monies which otherwise would remain uncollectable while allowing our neighbors to once again be law abiding citizens.
It remains a great honor to represent our community in the Maryland Senate. If I can be of service to you or anyone you know please call my office at 301-858-3631, or email me at Douglas.Peters@senate.state.md.us.
Senator Douglas J.J. Peters
District 23, Maryland