For the second year in a row, Marylanders will have extra time to file their state tax returns.

Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Thursday he is extending the state income tax filing deadline to July 15. Marylanders who owe taxes will not be assessed interest or penalties as long as returns are filed and taxes are paid by the new deadline.

Franchot said the extension was necessitated by recent and pending legislation in the General Assembly and Congress that impact 2020 tax filings and what refunds may be owed to taxpayers. The RELIEF Act, passed in February, required extensive revisions to existing forms and software. Among other things, it exempted unemployment benefits from state income taxes.

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This week's passage of a new COVID-19 relief bill necessitates further changes, Franchot said, to both state and federal tax forms. The bill exempts up to $10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits tax free, makes student loan forgiveness tax-free through 2025 and expands certain tax credits.

“We’ve never before seen so many changes to the current year’s tax code in the midst of the tax filing season,” Franchot said in a statement. “We’re realistic about the burden this puts on taxpayers, tax preparers and our staff, which is why I’m taking this emergency action to extend the tax filing deadline to July 15.”

The Internal Revenue Service has not yet announced a delay to the usual April 15 tax deadline. Taxpayers who have already filed their state returns should wait until then to file amended returns and claim the new benefits, Franchot said, to make sure all state forms take the state and federal changes into account. Read more at WBAL