Comptroller Office Reports Delay in Refunds Due to Maryland Tax Processing System Outage

In Maryland, the anticipation of tax refunds has turned into a waiting game for tens of thousands of residents who have already filed their taxes. Despite the timely submission of their returns, many find themselves in a frustrating limbo, anxiously awaiting the arrival of their refunds.

For individuals like Sunny, who preferred not to disclose her full name, the delay in receiving her state tax refund has been particularly exasperating. Normally accustomed to a swift turnaround of about a week, this year has been different. Sixteen days have elapsed since Sunny submitted her taxes, and her refund is still nowhere to be seen. The uncertainty surrounding the timeline for receiving her refund has added to her stress, as she grapples with the practical implications of the delay.

“I just moved into a new place and I wanted to get things for my kids, wanted to get caught up on bills, put food in the house,” Sunny expressed, highlighting the financial strain caused by the delay. “Food is very expensive right now.”

Her experience is not an isolated one. Sunny has found solace in knowing that she’s not alone in this predicament, having heard similar stories from friends, family, and neighbors who are also awaiting their refunds.

The Maryland Office of the Comptroller has attributed the delay to the implementation of their new online tax portal, Maryland Tax Connect. The system underwent maintenance from January 30 to February 9 to facilitate the launch of this platform, disrupting the processing of tax returns during that period. Despite taxpayers being able to submit their returns as usual, the backend processing was put on hold until the system was back online.

Comptroller Brooke Lierman has emphasized the necessity of such technological upgrades, positioning Maryland Tax Connect as a pivotal step towards modernizing the agency’s operations. Although currently accessible only to business owners, the platform is slated to be open to all taxpayers by 2026, promising greater efficiency and accessibility in tax-related matters.

With over 330,000 returns in the processing queue, the Comptroller’s office has mobilized additional resources, including staff working overtime, to expedite the processing of refunds. While the backlog is being diligently addressed, individuals like Sunny remain hopeful for a prompt resolution to their refund status, echoing the sentiment of many taxpayers eager to receive their owed funds without undue delay.

The Office of the Comptroller has assured taxpayers who filed before the official opening of tax season on January 29 that their refunds can be expected to be processed and disbursed over the upcoming weekend or early next week, providing a glimmer of hope amidst the wait.