House Bill 810 (Chapter 422, Acts of 2009)
This Act adds §10-824 to the Tax-General Article, which provides the mandatory requirements for filing income tax returns by electronic means. This Acts also adds Tax-General Article §13-717 to provide the circumstances under which penalty would apply for failure to comply with Tax-General Article §10-824.
This Act requires income tax return preparers who have prepared, for compensation, more than a certain number of qualified State income tax returns in the prior taxable year to file all qualified State income tax returns electronically. An income tax return preparer does not include a person who merely performs those acts described under Section 7701(a)(36)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code. A qualified State income tax return is any original return of individual income tax imposed by Title 10 of the Tax-General Article, regardless of whether a tax is due or a refund is claimed. For a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2008 but before January 1, 2010, a preparer who has prepared more than 300 qualified returns in the prior taxable year is required to file the returns electronically. For a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2009 but before January 1, 2011, it is more than 200 qualified returns in the prior taxable year. For any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2010, it is more than 100.
This Act authorizes the Comptroller to impose on a preparer a $50 penalty for each return that is not filed electronically in compliance with this Act, unless the preparer is able to show that the failure to comply is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect. The total penalties assessed may not exceed $500 for all returns filed by the preparer in a taxable year. The penalty does not apply if a taxpayer does not want the taxpayer's return filed by electronic means or if the preparer has sought by written request, and received, a waiver from the Comptroller. The written waiver request must establish to the satisfaction of the Comptroller either reasonable cause for not filing returns by electronic means or undue hardship due to lack of feasible means to file returns electronically.
This Act takes effect July 1, 2009, and shall be applicable to all taxable years beginning after December 31, 2008.