Itemized Maryland State income tax returns are now being accepted by the State Income Tax Division, even if the taxpayer was not permitted to itemize deductions on the federal tax form, according to an announcement by State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein.
The action was taken pending approval of emergency legislation now before the General Assembly that would permit the itemization for 1977, the comptroller said. The itemized Maryland income tax return submitted under these conditions must be accompanied by a completed federal schedule A, which lists those deductions claimed in the return.
"Many Maryland income taxpayers [WORD ILLEGIBLE] being unfairly penalized because [WORD ILLEGIBLE] change in federal law," the comptroller said. As a result of the changed federal law, taxpayers are required to use the federal standard deduction unless their itemized deductions exceed $2,200 for singles or $3,200 for married couples. Maryland taxpayers who could not itemize on their federal tax returns were then required to also take the much lower Maryland standard deduction, a maximum of $500, or $1,000 for couples.
"At my suggestion, emergency legislation has been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly to allow taxpayers to itemize deductions on this year's Maryland income tax return even if they weren't allowed to itemize on their federal income tax forms," Goldstein said.
The comptroller said he had taken the action pending approval of the emergency legislation by the general assembly "in order to save both taxpayers and the state time and money for the present." If the emergency legislation does not pass, he said, the Income Tax Division will bill taxpayers for the difference "at a later date." Tax preparers throughout Maryland are being notified of the change.
Separate bills now before the general assembly would raise the Maryland standard deduction for future years' tax returns.