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The unpleasant consequences of ignoring Maryland tax bills

When the Comptroller of Maryland sends a tax bill, the best course of action, by far, is to pay it quickly. After 30 days pass, this initial bill will turn into an assessment, and that assessment will have substantial interest and penalties attached. Many people are surprised at the true cost of past due taxes – the Comptroller assesses 12% interest and can charge penalties of up to 25% of taxes owed. And once taxes are assessed, Maryland has a variety of ways to enforce collection. Even if a taxpayer establishes a payment plan, payments or refunds due to the taxpayer from state or federal government may be intercepted and offset until the Comptroller’s balance is satisfied. The consequences for failing to make payment arrangements are more severe, of course: suspension of the taxpayer’s ability to renew his or her Maryland driver’s license and/or vehicle registration; salary garnishment; referral to a collection agency; suspension of the taxpayer’s ability to renew his or her business or professional license; tax liens; and even seizure of bank accounts, liquor licenses, cash on premises, equipment, vehicles, inventory, and real property. Even though a taxpayer may dread making that call to the Comptroller to set up a payment plan, or to ask for a temporary hardship status, it really is far, far better than the alternative.

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Image credit: Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

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