MARYLAND — State Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Friday that a limited number of employees will return to work Monday and resume processing paper personal income tax returns. The processing of paper income tax returns was halted April 15 due to concerns of essential employee safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
Employees returning to comptroller offices will follow all state and Centers for Disease Control guidelines. The Maryland Department of General Services will perform health screenings as employees enter the Revenue Administration Division building. Staff will be notified about their work schedules with a phased-in approach for return. Masks, gloves and hand sanitizer will be available to all on-site staff. Spatial and social distancing will be followed and employees will work on rotated schedules. Those who have been teleworking to process electronic tax returns will continue to do so remotely.
During the temporary halt of processing mailed paper returns, agency employees continued to process electronic tax returns and open limited amounts of mail depositing tax payments totaling $105 million. As of Friday, more than 2.2 million returns have been processed, which is more than two million electronic returns and 170,000 paper returns. In recent years, the Maryland Comptroller’s Office typically processes 3.2 million tax returns with refunds of $2.9 billion.
With the reduced workforce of 40 staffers returning to work, it will take approximately 30 days to open the 100,000 pieces of mail and to sort the returns for additional processing, the comptroller's office noted. Taxpayers who are due refunds should start to see them by the beginning of June. A significant percentage of filers receiving refunds were processed prior to the temporary halt of paper returns.
The new deadline for individuals and businesses to file and pay state income taxes and most business taxes falls on July 15.