Comptroller Franchot Announces Help for Federal Workers Affected by Shutdown

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (January 15, 2019) - As the partial federal government shutdown extends into its fourth week, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced a plan to provide financial relief to impacted federal workers unsure when their next paycheck will arrive.

Federal contractors, furloughed employees, and those working without pay currently on payment plans with the State may be granted reduced or even suspended payments while the shutdown drags on.

“The longer this government shutdown lasts, the more financial hardship it is causing federal workers, some of whom may never get repaid,” said Comptroller Franchot. “My agency recognizes that Marylanders affected by this prolonged impass face a greater burden to make ends meet and to fulfill their tax obligations. As always, we stand ready to help Marylanders facing these challenging times.”

The assistance provided by the Comptroller’s Office will help federal workers with personal income liabilities and other outstanding tax obligations. As specific circumstances vary, each request will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Affected federal workers, including federal contractors and federal employees working without pay, who may have outstanding Maryland tax obligations, are encouraged to contact the Comptroller of Maryland’s Ombudsman’s Office via email at ombudsman@comp.state.md.us or via telephone at 410-260-4020.

To further assist taxpayers, an email address (govshutdownrelief@comp.state.md.us) has been created to receive specific shutdown-related inquiries.

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Federal Government Shutdown Affecting 172,000 Marylanders Resulting in $778M in Lost Wages

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (January 14, 2019) - With its large number of federal employees and contractors, Maryland’s economy is being profoundly impacted by the ongoing government shutdown, according to a report released today by the state’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates (BRE).

Approximately 172,000 Marylanders are currently impacted by the government closure, which began on Dec. 22, 2018. Each bi-weekly payroll for which these residents are not paid results in $778 million of lost wages, which translates to roughly $57.5 million less in combined state and local income tax withholding, and $2.1 million less in sales tax collections.

“These estimates demonstrate what we already knew — the unnecessary shutdown of our federal government is having a devastating effect on Maryland’s families and our state’s economic well-being,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. “Even if some employees do eventually get repaid, our economy will not be made whole and changes to long-term spending habits may cause further harm.”

The uncertainty surrounding the shutdown — how long it will last and if it will happen again — will also likely reduce business investment, according to the Bureau of Revenue Estimates report.

Between 230,000 and 245,000 Marylanders are federal employees; since some agencies are funded through other budget appropriations, about 90,000 Marylanders are either furloughed or working without pay, according to the BRE report. It is estimated that roughly half of the state’s 164,000 federal contractors are impacted by the shutdown. Many of these workers are unlikely to be repaid once the government reopens, so state and local tax collections would suffer from their lost wages.

The full BRE report can be viewed here.

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Franchot: Shutdown Not Expected to Delay Opening of Tax Season

Maryland and IRS on track for January 28 start

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (January 8, 2019) - Despite the federal government shutdown, Comptroller Peter Franchot said there are no plans to delay processing personal income tax returns for Tax Year 2018. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Maryland remain on track to begin processing individual returns on January 28.

Processing of business tax returns began today, January 8.

“Marylanders should go about their typical preparations to file their personal income tax returns,” Comptroller Franchot said. “My agency is in direct communication with the IRS to monitor the situation. If there are any changes at the federal level, we will immediately notify taxpayers.”

The IRS has asked furloughed employees to return to the job during the shutdown to avoid any impact to the processing of tax returns.

As in previous years, the Comptroller’s Office will not immediately process a state tax return if W-2 information is not on file with the agency. Employers are required to report wage information to the Comptroller on or before January 31.

The filing deadline for 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15.

Taxpayers are encouraged to file their returns electronically for the fastest possible processing and to ensure they receive all possible refunds. A list of approved vendors for use in filing your electronic return can be found at www.marylandtaxes.gov.

Free state tax assistance is available at all of the agency’s 12 taxpayer service offices, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A list of office locations can be found at www.marylandtaxes.gov.

For more information on any tax-related matter, please visit the Comptroller’s website at www.marylandtaxes.gov or call 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937) or 410-260-7980 in Central Maryland.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)