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Transcript of Tax Questions Chat with Comptroller Franchot - 07/16/2009

Tax Chat Moderator: Thanks for joining us, the Comptroller will be logging on to join us shortly.

Tax Chat Moderator: Thanks again for joining us. It's my pleasure to welcome Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Comptroller Franchot: Welcome to our online chat live from the Maryland Comptroller's office. I am very proud to serve as your Comptroller and I thank you for joining me today. One of my top priorities is to ensure that my agency is as efficient, effective and innovative as possible. We take great pride in our reputation as the best Comptroller's Office in the nation, and we want to take our standards for exceptional taxpayer service to an even higher level.

Comptroller Franchot: Today's chat is just another example of how we are trying to expand our service delivery options. It is my hope that this chat will be a useful tool for you to get the answers to your last minute tax questions. We are always trying to identify ways to make things simpler and more user-friendly for our taxpayers. To help us, please send any feedback from today's session to me at

Tax Chat Moderator: Feel free to start sending in your questions.

KC: A heir received money from the sale of house in dc...she is a md resident...does she have to pay inheritance / estate tax...if so would it be in dc or md

Comptroller Franchot: KC: Thank you for your question. Any estate tax is paid in the jurisdiction of the deceased. However, since you are a Maryland resident if you have taxable gain on the sale of the DC property, you might be subject to our state income tax. Contact Wallace Eddleman at 410 260 7645. Thanks for your question. Pretty tough one to start with! mystro whatley: I pay over $13,000 in day care. will i get a tax break on all of it. Comptroller Franchot: Mystro, Thanks for the question. Maryland does offer an income subtraction of up to $3,000 for one child or maximum of $6,000 for two or more children. For more information on the federal tax credits go on line to

Tax Chat Moderator: Questions are coming in quick, so thank you. Please keep in mind that we are taking them in order, so please be patient.

Tax Chat Moderator: We will do our best to answer all the questions we get during the live chat, however, if we run out of time, please send your questions to Bruce: I have a client who is married to active duty military with permanent residence elsewhere. She works for state of MD remotely. I plan to have her pay taxes to the resident state. How do I flag that on the return, so no audit or letter occurs?

Comptroller Franchot: Bruce, thanks for the question. Your client should pay taxes to her resident state. Thank her husband for his service to our country.

Victor: Last year I rent my house but have no documents (i.e. 1099 or contract) about it. It was more a verbal contract. I will include the total amount I received from the tenant but I was wondering if there will be any questions about it.

Comptroller Franchot: Victor, thank you for the question. You are doing the right thing by reporting your rental income as taxable income. Check with an accountant about any expenses that may offset your tax obligation. Good luck!

Spike: How long is it taking to process a tax return right now, I'm still waiting for my refund?

Comptroller Franchot: Spike, those who file electronically with electronic direct deposit should get a refund within 72 hours... one of the best turnaround times in the country. Paper returns are longer this time of year due to heavy mail volume, so try to file electronically. More than a million Marylanders have already used efile this season and the response has been very positive.

Tax Chat Moderator: Please do not include your social security number, phone number or any other personal information in your questions during the chat.

CateT: I usually use Turbo Tax but this year I am hoping to save some money by using a different program. Does E-file or I file work the same as Turbo Tax?

Comptroller Franchot: Cate, thanks for the question. You can use our I - File for free but you have to have your federal return completed. More than 95,000 Marylanders have already used I-File this tax season.

Tax Chat Moderator: We will do our best to answer all the questions we get during the live chat, however, if we run out of time, please send your questions to

Ilovebaltimore: Hi Comptroller Franchot, I just sold my house last year and bought another there anything special I need to do for my Maryland filing?

Comptroller Franchot: Thank you for the question. I love Baltimore too! If there are tax consequences at the federal level, they flow through to Maryland, but there are no special filing requirements with the state of Maryland.

SuzyQ: How can I get extra time to make my payment? With how hard things have been, I just won't have the money for at least a few more weeks! HELP!

Comptroller Franchot: Suzy, if you file electronically by April 15, you have until April 30 to make your electronic payment. Sorry about the hard economy. But you have two extra weeks to pay us -- yet another reason to file electronically!

Connor: I owe tax money this year but can't afford to pay it. Can I make any special arrangements with your office to pay it off gradually?

Comptroller Franchot: Connor, absolutely. You are doing the right thing by reaching out to us now. My agency will work with you to establish a reasonable payment plan, or you can go to and establish your own payment schedule. My team is here to work with you and others who make a good faith effort to pay your fair share.

Rose: I need help doing my taxes this year but can't afford to pay H&R block or one of those places? Does your office offer any free help?

Comptroller Franchot: Rose, we have 12 branch offices that are conveniently located throughout the state. If you have a federal return completed we will prepare your state return for free. And it is guaranteed to be accurate. Call 800 MD TAXES for further assistance. Victor: What is the cost to file electronically?

Comptroller Franchot: Victor, there is no cost to file electronically if you use our I-File system located on our web site, Let me know how it goes. Tax Chat Moderator: We will do our best to answer all the questions we get during the live chat, however, if we run out of time, please send your questions to

ALex: I live in Baltimore County. What is the closest branch office to me? Do you have a listing of your offices online?

Comptroller Franchot: Alex, my office has a branch in Towson, located at 300 East Joppa Road but depending where you live in Baltimore County, it may be closer to go to 301 West Preston Street in Baltimore City. For a complete listing of our branch offices, go on line to

joyce: if i have a 1099-r form to report pension information because of the passing of my brother which form do i use 502 or 503?

Comptroller Franchot: Joyce, I have been waiting all day for this question! If you can answer no to all the questions on the back of Form 503, you can use Form 503. Otherwise, you have to use the long form 502.

Jenn: Will you be having any more of these chats before tax day? As a local accountant I am sure my clients will have more questions before April 15.

Comptroller Franchot: Jenn, I am glad you have found this chat useful. While we will not be having any more on line chats before April 15, my taxpayer service offices will be available to answer any of your questions from 8 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday. All branch offices will also be open on Saturday April 10 from 9 AM to 1 PM to help with last minute questions. Anyone out there want another chat before April 15?

Tax Chat Moderator: We will do our best to answer all the questions we get during the live chat, however, if we run out of time, please send your questions to

Kelley: I got a notice that your office kept part of my refund and I don't understand why it would be kept or what to do now?

Comptroller Franchot: Kelley, The notice you received has an explanation and on the reverse side there is contact information for any questions you have.

Robert: Why do i need to file my federal taxes before my state taxes?

Comptroller Franchot: Robert, Good question. Maryland taxes are based upon your federal adjusted gross income. Therefore you have to complete your federal return in order to start the Maryland return.

Wesley: What happened to the financial literacy you were promoting?

Comptroller Franchot: Wesley, Our financial literacy legislation has passed the Senate and is currently before the House of Delegates for consideration. Keep your fingers crossed- this is an important and time sensitive issue!

Dover: I live in Delaware, but sold my old house in Maryland and am confused by what I need to file and who I send it to. Some of it says SDAT or something, other stuff goes to you....

Comptroller Franchot: Dover, Based on the information you provided, it sounds like you may have been subject to Maryland's withholding on the sale of real property by a non-resident. You may contact the person in my office who handles this at When are you moving back to Maryland?

CateT: I have been following this chat since 1 and I would like to say it has been quite helpful! I am glad to know others had similar questions to me! Thanks!!

Comptroller Franchot: Cate, Thanks for the pat on the back. I love being your Comptroller and have an outstanding staff at this agency. Your positive feedback is important to us. I have to run now and open some more paper returns!

Tax Chat Moderator: Thank you, Comptroller Franchot. Thanks to everyone who participated. If we didn't get to your question, please send it to ###

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