By Peter Franchot
With the 2019 tax filing season set to officially start on January 28, my agency has been hard at work over the last several months to ensure that our agency has the capability to continue delivering the level of service and results that taxpayers have grown to expect from the Maryland Comptroller’s Office.
While I am extremely frustrated by the historic duration of the current federal government partial shutdown, I am hopeful the Internal Revenue Service will process tax returns as scheduled despite the considerable disruption in government operations brought about by the shutdown.
Annually, we collect $17 billion in revenue, process more than 3 million tax returns, and we disburse more than $2.2 billion in refunds. I’m exceptionally proud of the fact that the vast majority of electronic tax refunds are deposited into Marylanders’ bank accounts, on average, within 2.1 business days.
Providing respectful, responsive and results-oriented customer service continues to be the core pillar of my agency, and we continue to find more ways to improve taxpayers’ experience.
I am pleased to announce that we are rolling out a brand-new, state-of-the-art, and transformational tax processing system – which we are calling COMPASS – that will deliver increased efficiencies by providing our taxpayers (both individuals and businesses) with an easier and more user-friendly filing experience.
Our new COMPASS system also will significantly improve our ability to identify tax avoidance, conduct audits and issue assessments - all of which are critical tools to ensure tax fairness. What’s more, the state-of-the-art technology will transform the process by which we protect Maryland taxpayers from tax fraud and identity theft.
Our 12 regional branch offices across the state serve as critical organs of our taxpayer service operations. Our friendly professional staff can assist taxpayers with making payments to settle tax liabilities and provide free state tax preparation and filing services. Taxpayers who have questions can either visit our branch offices or call our taxpayer services hotline at 1-800-MD-TAXES. To find a list of branch offices across Maryland, please visit www.marylandtaxes.gov.
It remains a true privilege to serve as your comptroller, and I continue to be firmly committed to provide all Maryland taxpayers with the level of service they deserve from my agency.