Comptroller Offers Tax Relief and Assistance to Hurricane Harvey Victims

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 31, 2017) – In the aftermath of the unprecedented destruction and suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced a plan to help ease the burdens of those trying to recover from this catastrophic event. The Comptroller has:

• Issued a temporary waiver of IFTA requirements and Motor Fuel Tax returns for companies affected by the storm,
• Granted a fuel waiver concerning conventional and reformulated gasoline to ensure the supply of gasoline in the State of Maryland,
• Named a point person to assist taxpayers and businesses with other tax filings.

“The people of Texas and Louisiana are now focused on making sure their families are safe and getting their basic needs met for food, shelter and medical attention,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Our primary focus is to make sure businesses and individuals affected by this life-changing storm can focus on cleaning up and rebuilding their city and communities as they begin to recover and put their lives back together. My office is ready to assist and ease any burdens we can.”

The Comptroller has granted a temporary waiver of certain International Fuel Tax Agreement requirements. The waiver will help ensure the rapid restoration of utilities and allow essential emergency relief supplies and aid personnel to reach the affected areas. The waiver pertains only to shippers and carriers of essential emergency relief supplies and aid personnel or those restoring utilities.

For Maryland Motor Fuel Tax license holders in Texas and Louisiana who may have difficulty filing their July 2017 and August 2017 returns, the Comptroller has granted a waiver of interest and penalty for those holders. Those affected by the waiver must file their July 2017 and August 2017 Motor Fuel Tax returns by October 31, 2017. 

The Comptroller’s Office also will allow the production, sale and distribution of conventional gasoline in reformulated gasoline control areas in an effort to simplify the supply of fungible gasoline throughout the region affected by fuel supply emergencies caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The Comptroller has authorized a temporary increase in the Reid Vapor Pressure limits. The fuel waiver request concerning conventional and reformulated gasoline was made by the Maryland Department of the Environment in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure adequate supplies of gasoline for Maryland consumers.

Certain tax types also could be affected. Those types include: withholding, sales and use, individual non-resident, corporate, admission and amusement and alcohol and tobacco. Because the categories and specific circumstances vary, these instances will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Anyone from Texas or Louisiana who files in Maryland and has a tax concern involving tax return dates is asked to call or email Karen Scheerer, special assistant to the Comptroller, at 410-260-4020 or ombudsman@comp.state.md.us.

For other tax-related questions, individuals may call 410-260-7980 (from Central Maryland) or 1-800-MD-TAXES, or email taxhelp@comp.state.md.us. Businesses may call the Tax Practitioner Hotline at 410-260-7424.

MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Shapiro, 410-260-7305 (office); 443-871-2244 (cell)

Alan Brody, 410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (cell)