Though all citizens have an obligation to pay taxes in order to provide the services upon which we all rely, there are some circumstances in which an individual’s duty to file a Maryland tax return may be legitimately in question. Income thresholds, residency status, age brackets and the like can introduce a degree of ambiguity into the process.
The Maryland tax attorneys at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg are always on call to assist clients in determining whether they must file, how they can minimize their tax burdens and which strategies represent the simplest route to achieving full compliance with state and federal rules.
Senior citizen tax filing requirements
Though a large number of Maryland’s seniors are in fact required to file an income tax return, they are afforded a higher gross income threshold than younger taxpayers. For instance, unmarried seniors who have reached the age of 65 will need to earn at least $11,850 before they will have to file a return. Joint filers in which one spouse is 65 or older must have a gross income of $21,850 for a filing to be necessary, an amount that rises to $23,100 once both spouses are at least 65 years of age.
Married Maryland seniors who file separately will need to submit a return if they earn at least $4,000, and widows and widowers are subject to an income threshold of $17,850. It should be noted that for these purposes, calculations of gross income should not include payments derived from Railroad Retirement or Social Security benefits.
Tax filing rules for Maryland residents
Generally speaking, Maryland residents are obligated to file a state tax return if they were required to file a federal return and their gross income from Maryland is equal or greater to the threshold applicable to their filing status. It must be remembered, however, that even those who do not have to file a federal return may be subject to Maryland filing requirements if Maryland additions to gross income cause the gross income to exceed the relevant income threshold.
Single Maryland filers under the age of 65 must have at least $10,300 in gross income for a filing requirement to attach, married taxpayers filing jointly who are both under age 65 must have gross income totaling $20,600, heads of household under 65 must have received $13,250 and widows and widowers under 65 must have received at least $16,660 for a return to be necessary.
Issues related to nonresident filings
Even individuals residing outside of Maryland may need to file a nonresident tax return under certain circumstances, and it is important for anyone potentially falling into this category to have a solid understanding of the rules governing their situation.
Nonresident returns are typically required of those who do not live within Maryland, but who are obligated to file a federal return and who have received income from distinct sources located inside the state. A Maryland return is necessary even if Maryland-specific income falls below the filing requirement for the relevant status, but federal gross income does meet the applicable minimum threshold. The income amounts at which the duty to file will be triggered are the same as described above for both resident and nonresident taxpayers and are similarly determined based on whether the filer is 65 years of age or older.
Reliable, trustworthy tax compliance counsel
As is frequently the case with a range of tax concerns, whether or not a Maryland return is necessary in a given set of circumstances can be a topic shrouded in confusion and misinformation. The team of professionals at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg can assist individuals and business entities by answering their specific questions, aiding in the tax planning process and working to solve any and all compliance difficulties that may arise. Call us at (410) 727-6600 to schedule an informative consultation.
- Comptroller of Maryland, Do I have to file a Maryland Income Tax Return?, http://taxes.marylandtaxes.com/Individual_Taxes/Individual_Tax_Types/Income_Tax/Filing_Information/Determine_Whether_You_Have_to_File/
- Comptroller of Maryland, Filing Requirements for Seniors, http://taxes.marylandtaxes.com/Individual_Taxes/Individual_Tax_Types/Income_Tax/Filing_Information/If_You_Are_a_Senior_Citizen/Filing_Requirements_for_Seniors.shtml