Md. Comptroller’s office says they’re working to balance the start of tax season with RELIEF Act payments
MARYLAND – The Maryland Comptroller’s office says they are hard at work balancing the start of tax season with getting the state’s direct stimulus payments sent out. Comptroller Peter Franchot tells 47ABC they processed about 20,000 returns and answered about 2,000 calls relating to tax filing. That’s all happening while they work to get more than 400,000 of those direct stimulus payments out. “We have done something that I don’t think any other federal agency would be capable of,” said Comptroller Franchot.
Comptroller Franchot says those payments come from the state’s RELIEF Act. He adds the payments will either be in peoples’ bank accounts or mailed out by Friday.
Meanwhile, the Comptroller says he is anxious to see the next relief legislation Maryland lawmakers will turn out. He says that’s because even some who were eligible for the payments were not able to do so because they didn’t file for earned income tax credit. The Comptroller says that could be a result of many folks not knowing how to file, or who don’t even know about the program. “I’m just urging the legislature to be as humane as possible and open up the relief to a broader group of people. I obviously lost the battle on giving a $2,000 check rather than a $300 check,” said Comptroller Franchot.
Another group of Marylanders that the Comptroller is hoping the state will help is undocumented immigrants and green card holders. Comptroller Franchot says last year, those groups paid more than $100 million in state and local taxes. The Comptroller says that’s why he hopes to see the Maryland General Assembly expand their relief efforts. “They’ve promised to produce a bill that will cover the 86,000 tax paying Maryland immigrant families that have lived here for years and paid taxes for years – some for decades,” said Comptroller Franchot.
The Comptroller’s office also set up a hot line to help people figure out the status of their direct stimulus payments. “I think it’s so important that we not only send everything out but we also have people – and we have hundreds of people now manning the phones – capable of saying ‘Yeah – here’s the deal. You’re not eligible because the Governor and the legislature decided you’re not,'” said Comptroller Franchot.
The number for that hotline is (833) 345-0787.