WASHINGTON, January 9, 2014 — According to Maryland state Comptroller Peter Franchot, this year’s state tax refunds will be delayed. In December, the IRS announced that the shutdown of the federal government would result in delays to federal tax processing.
Since Maryland relies upon the IRS to first perform their processing of tax forms, it will have to wait until the IRS has begun processing federal tax returns before the state can process local forms.
The IRS announced that the delayed “opening date” for filing taxes would be January 31, 2014. “The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure,” the agency said.
“Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a statement. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.”
“We are dependent on the IRS to first process the returns,” Franchot told WTOP News. “That needs done before Maryland can begin to work on state returns. And that means anyone waiting for a refund will have to wait a little longer.”
Franchot advises Maryland residents, in a statement on the Comptroller’s website, that the delay by the IRS “will cause a corresponding delay to the beginning of the 2014 state tax season.”
“The swift processing of returns and distribution of refunds is my absolute top priority as Comptroller,” Franchot noted.
“I’m proud of the agency’s reputation as a national leader in efficiently getting refunds back into the hands of taxpayers and, despite the challenges presented by the IRS delays, we’re prepared to live up to the high standards that Maryland taxpayers rightfully expect.”
Federal and state taxes are due in April; however taxpayers may request a six month extension (federal and state tax extensions must be requested separately). In some cases, prepayment of taxes is required to obtain an extension.
Maryland has set up a hotline and is directing individuals with questions to knowledgeable staff who can even help file the tax forms once Maryland begins processing them:
Free state tax assistance is available at all of the agency’s 12 taxpayer service offices, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information on any tax-related matter, please go to the Comptroller’s Website at www.marylandtaxes.com or call 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937).
Rahat Husain has been working as a columnist since 2013 when he joined the Communities. With an interest in America and Islam, Rahat is a prolific writer on contemporary and international issues.
In addition to writing for the Communities, Rahat Husain is an Attorney based in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. He is the Director of Legal and Policy Affairs at UMAA Advocacy. For the past six years, Mr. Husain has worked with Congressmen, Senators, federal agencies, think tanks, NGOs, policy institutes, and academic experts to advocate on behalf of Shia Muslim issues, both political and humanitarian. UMAA hosts one of the largest gatherings of Shia Ithna Asheri Muslims in North America at its annual convention.