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Baltimore Business Journal: Comptroller Franchot: Md. businesses will have extra time to file

Companies in Maryland will have more time to file business-related taxes under a change announced by Comptroller Peter Franchot Wednesday.

The June 1 extension is designed to give businesses affected by the the novel coronavirus more time to file and "protect the financial health of our economy," Franchot said in a statement. A similar extension is also likely to be granted for individual income tax returns, but that decision has not been made yet.

For now, the extension applies to certain business returns with due dates during the months of March, April and May. Those business filings include;

Sales and use tax

Withholding tax

Admissions and amusement tax

Alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel excise taxes

Tire recycling fee

Bay restoration fee returns

Spokesperson for the Comptroller, Susan O'Brien, said the idea behind the extension is to give affected businesses a chance to recover from any losses related to social distancing and other actions aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus. The hope is that if concerns surrounding the virus are lowered by April, people will start going out and spending money again in time for businesses to be more stable by the time taxes are due in June.

"Fingers crossed it's not prolonged," O'Brien said.

She added that the agency wants to do all it can to help businesses, especially small ones, which she called the "backbone of our economy."

"This extension will provide much-needed relief to our business owners as they adjust to changes in consumer behavior, tourism trends and employee workforce output," Franchot said in a statement.

Business taxpayers who file and pay by the extended due date will receive a waiver of interest and penalties.

For now, the filing deadline for corporate and individual income tax returns remains April 15. However, the Comptroller's Office said if the IRS decides to extend that deadline, Maryland will follow suit. O'Brien said the Comptroller "fully expects the IRS will delay the individual payment deadline."

In the meantime, the agency is still continuing to process refunds and O'Brien encouraged taxpayers to file as soon as possible — and to do so electronically and with a direct deposit route number. Most people who are waiting until the deadline to file are doing so because they owe money, she added. For those expecting refunds, "the faster you file the faster you get it," she said.

The motivation behind extending the individual deadline is the same as for businesses, to provide more time to prepare for any required payment.

Lastly, O'Brien encouraged taxpayers to submit online, call or email any questions and use direct deposit to speed up the process since cutting a check takes longer. Anyone with questions can email taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov.

https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2020/03/12/comptroller-franchot-md-businesses-will-have-extra.html



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