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Maryland to extend tax deadlines, expand access to state contracts for small businesses

Maryland businesses and some taxpayers will be able to postpone making certain tax payments to the state as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the economy.

Comptroller Peter Franchot said Wednesday in announcing the program that it will provide some relief to those who are struggling without the state government losing out on any money.

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“They can keep that money in their pocket,” Franchot, a Democrat, said during a video meeting of the state’s Board of Public Works.

The taxes would be owed still, but they could be paid at a later date, Franchot said.

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The extended deadlines include:

  • Business taxes and quarterly estimated income taxes typically due in January, February and March are postponed until April 15.
  • For businesses, self-employed individuals and independent contractors with estimated payments due Jan. 15, those are postponed to April 15.
  • Businesses that withhold taxes for their employees with payments due between Feb. 1 and April 14 do not have to make those payments until April 15.

The extension applies to business taxes administered by the comptroller, including sales taxes, admissions and amusement taxes, and levies on alcohol, tobacco and gasoline.

Business and taxpayers covered by the action don’t need to file a request for an extension and the state won’t assess interest or penalties.

A similar extension was granted last year to businesses during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extended deadlines apply only to taxes owed to the state. Franchot said he wrote Wednesday to the IRS to request similar deadline extensions for federal tax payments.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration, meanwhile, is expanding a program that helps small businesses win state government contracts. The Small Business Reserve Program allows state agencies to set aside certain contracts for registered small businesses to compete for them.

The Republican governor signed an executive order Wednesday ordering state agencies to set aside contracting opportunities valued between $50,000 and $500,000 for the program.

The goal is to offer a boost to small businesses that may be struggling in the pandemic, said Republican Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, who announced the initiative at the Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday.

“Small businesses undoubtedly will be leading the way of our economic recovery,” Rutherford said.

Hogan also announced in a statement that people receiving food stamps and cash assistance will receive additional aid due to federal changes.

Families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will receive 15% more for the next six months. And those receiving Temporary Cash Assistance will receive an average of $100 more per family member for the next six months.

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