Comptroller Franchot Announces New Online Customer Service Innovations

Annapolis, MD (August 20, 2007) – Reiterating his strong commitment to enhancing taxpayer services, Comptroller Peter Franchot today unveiled two new features on his office’s Web site designed to help streamline the tax-paying process. With this announcement, Maryland is now one of the first states in the country to offer online options for establishing direct debit payment plans for personal income tax liabilities as well as submitting hearing appeal requests.

“Our number one priority at the Comptroller’s Office is to always provide the best customer service possible,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Simplifying the payment process makes it easier on the taxpayer and creates more efficiency. I urge all eligible Maryland taxpayers to take advantage of this new initiative.”

Individuals who owe state back personal income taxes can now set up an online direct debit payment agreement through the Comptroller’s Web site. Prior to this innovation, taxpayers were limited in choosing from more rigid payment schedules of three, six, nine or twelve months. To be eligible to use this new option, a liability must exceed $100 and individuals must make a minimum payment of at least $25 per month. Payment plans can last for no longer than 24 months.

In addition, taxpayers who receive notices of assessment or denials of claims for refunds for taxes and fees administered by the Comptroller’s office can now submit an online hearing appeal request. By law, Maryland taxpayers have the right to file an appeal if they are assessed a tax, fee, interest and penalty charges, or if they are denied a refund. This new service will allow taxpayers to schedule a hearing based on their availability. Both of these new services can be accessed through the Comptroller’s Online Service Center, available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week from any home, office or public access point at www.marylandtaxes.com.

Contact: Christine Duray, 410-260-6346 (office), 443-336-0215 (cell)