Amid coronavirus concerns, Maryland delays tax payments

After the Trump administration announced Tuesday that people could delay paying their federal income taxes, Maryland leaders followed suit and said the same would be true for taxpayers on the state level.

“Extending the due date for Maryland state individual and business income tax payments helps us keep cash flowing in our economy and into employees’ bank accounts,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot.

The change means that Marylanders who owe money in state taxes can delay paying for 90 days past the usual April 15 deadline.

“No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020,” Franchot’s office said in a statement.

It mirrors Tuesday’s announcement from the White House where Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said federal tax payments would be delayed for 90 days. The extension is an effort to inject $300 billion into the national economy as the U.S. deals with the fallout from the spread of the coronavirus.

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“If you owe a payment to the IRS you can defer up to $1 million as an individual,” Mnuchin said.

Corporations are allowed to defer payment on up to $10 million.

As is the case for both state and federal taxes, you still need to file by the April 15 deadline. If you owe money after filing, you can then take advantage of the delay.

“All you have to do is file your taxes,” Mnuchin said.

Under normal filing procedures, taxpayers can get a six-month extension to file their full returns.

Mnuchin urged people not to do that this time.

“We encourage those Americans who can file their taxes to continue to file their taxes on April 15, because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds,” Mnuchin said. “We don’t want you to lose out on those tax refunds.”

The federal extension is an effort to inject $300 billion into the economy at a time when the coronavirus appears on the verge of causing a recession.

As of Wednesday morning, it was not clear whether D.C. and Virginia would allow their local taxpayers to delay their payments.

Virginia officials say they’re still deciding.

“At this time, we are analyzing the recent IRS guidelines to see how they apply to Virginia Tax operations,” a Virginia spokesperson said.

The District has not yet made an announcement.

D.C. has a tax filing deadline of April 15, while Virginia taxes are due May 1.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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