Since taking office in 2007, Peter has transformed his 1,100-person agency into the most efficient and effective comptroller's office in the nation. Among the key pillars of his governing philosophy is providing first-class customer service to taxpayers. His agency works diligently to deliver what Peter calls the “Three R’s” -- respect, responsiveness, and results.
Under his leadership as comptroller, Maryland’s tax filing process is now easier and more efficient. Over 90 percent of Marylanders now file electronically, using a secure and convenient web-based system. Furthermore, those who file electronically receive their refunds typically in less than 3 business days if they choose direct deposit as their disbursement method.
Peter’s dedicated and professional staff at his 12 regional branch offices provide a wide range of services to Marylanders, including free tax preparation services. In fact, over 147,000 Marylanders visited his branch offices, and his Taxpayer Services team answered more than 650,000 phone calls and 45,000 emails in 2019.
"We have made the Maryland Comptroller’s Office the best in the entire nation. One that is capable of returning tax refunds to the people of Maryland within three business days... an office that is using state-of-the-art technology to recapture from those who have tried to avoid paying what they owe. One that is now employing the most sophisticated analytics available to protect the taxpayers of Maryland from the devastating consequences of tax fraud and identity theft."
At the outset of the pandemic, Peter extended the tax filing deadline, delayed monthly business payments, and suspended audits to allow Marylanders and small businesses to keep as much money in their pockets while Congress debated federal stimulus legislation. In addition, he suspended alcohol regulations to help Maryland breweries survive, and worked with the Hogan Administration on several executive orders including permitting alcohol to-go sales at restaurants and bars and alcohol home deliveries.
One of the best parts of Peter’s job is reuniting Marylanders with their unclaimed property. Since he became Comptroller, his agency has returned more than $1 billion to Marylanders through this program. Peter’s office frequently engages in community outreach to encourage Marylanders to visit his unclaimed property database and learn if the State of Maryland owes them money.
Peter has also been a champion on protecting Maryland taxpayers from the growing threat of tax fraud and identity theft. His office is a national leader in going after fraudsters and unscrupulous tax preparers who prey upon innocent and hardworking Marylanders. He remains committed to working with partners in the public and private sectors to tackle this serious problem. Thanks to unprecedented investments in technology and human capital, Peter’s team has detected and blocked more than 100,000 fraudulent returns worth more than $205 million since taking office in 2007.
Peter knows that Marylanders work hard for their money. He works to ensure everyone pays their fair share of taxes and wants a level playing field for Maryland taxpayers and businesses. That’s why he’s cracking down on tax cheats and making sure that out-of-state corporations play by the same rules as Maryland companies. By introducing new initiatives and investing in advanced technology, Peter’s agency has been able to capture more than $5.5 billion in delinquent taxes over the past 10 years – ensuring that everyone is paying their fair share to allow us to make meaningful investments in schools, the Chesapeake Bay and community priorities. His state-of-the-art data warehouse has identified and collected more than $427 million in delinquent tax payments.