Yes, it’s Tax Day. No, you don’t need to file yet

Take a breath. Don’t freak out.

Yes, Tax Day was April 15. But you don’t need to file your returns for another month.

As announced back in March, the filing deadline across the U.S. was extended to May 17. That goes for D.C., Virginia and Maryland too.

According to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, 1.7 million people have filed their tax returns so far in his state.

“But what we’re addressing today is the fact that almost a million Marylanders have not,” Franchot told WTOP’s Nick Iannelli. “And we are providing the 90-day interest free loan to them, should they wish to delay paying their taxes.”

A delay in paying has been OK’d in Maryland until July 15 because of the ongoing pandemic.

“There’s so much suffering out there among small businesses and individuals, generally low-wage earners,” Franchot said. “We’re basically saying, ‘Hey, instead of paying us the taxes you owe us on April 15, keep it. Use it as a reserve; use it as a cushion for 90 days. You won’t have any penalty; you won’t have any interest.”

Marylanders won’t need to file extensions either.

“Just pay us the taxes you owe on July 15,” Franchot said.

He added that the system works “beautifully.”

“We did this a year ago. And it proved to be very successful and free of abuse. Almost everybody who deferred paid what they should have July 15,” Franchot said, adding that Maryland’s system is “more generous and, I think, more effective, because it’s easier to understand.”

“You don’t have to get into ‘Is it included on April 15? Or is it deferred on May 17?’ In Maryland it’s deferred until July 15. And everything is deferred.”

Franchot said it’s important, due to financial stresses, for businesses to keep some money in the bank instead of sending it to the state and “use it, a little bit of it, if they need to. They shouldn’t use all of it because they’re going to ultimately owe it. But it is a very elegant, efficient form of targeted relief that you don’t have to apply for. You don’t have to fill out a long document at a bank or something; you simply keep the money that you have in your bank accounts right now.”

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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