List Identifies Businesses, Individuals Owing More Than $15 Million Combined
BALTIMORE, Md. (March 20, 2017) – Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced the names of the top 25 businesses and 25 individuals collectively owing $15.7 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest to the state of Maryland. As part of the Caught in the Web program, the Comptroller’s Office publishes the top scofflaws on the agency’s website in a public attempt to get those on the list to pay what they owe.
“My office is committed to ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of taxes, as the vast majority of Marylanders do. The Caught in the Web program highlights a small number of individuals and businesses that make a conscious effort to not pay their taxes,” said Comptroller Franchot. “These are not people simply down on their luck and unable to pay. These are people who have chosen to take advantage of the benefits of this great state while thumbing their noses at the taxpayers who fulfill their legal obligations.”
Created to send a message to those who ignore attempts by the state to collect overdue taxes, the Caught in the Web program names tax delinquents owing the largest sum in back taxes on the agency’s website for six months, until payment has been received or a payment plan has been initiated.
Since the program’s inception in 2000, the Comptroller’s Office has collected more than $43.3 million from delinquent taxpayers whose names appeared on one of the agency’s lists. The list of scofflaws unveiled today shows liabilities of nearly $8 million in back taxes, penalties and interest from 25 individuals and $7.7 million from 25 businesses.
When an individual or business fails to pay their Maryland taxes, the Comptroller’s Office initially sends a certified letter listing any unpaid charges incurred for taxes, interest and penalties. If the taxpayer fails to respond, enters into a payment plan, or provides a qualifying reason for having not yet paid, the Comptroller’s Office may then:
• File a lien,
• Garnish wages,
• Prevent renewal of state business license,
• Prevent renewal of professional and occupational licenses,
• Prevent renewal of driver licenses and vehicle registration,
• Attach assets (including bank accounts),
• Intercept state and federal tax refunds,
• File an estimated assessment for taxes due in unreported periods,
• Issue a summons to appear at a hearing to revoke a sales tax license or initiate other
• Suspend state payments if the taxpayer does business with the state,
• Suspend federal payments if the taxpayer does business with the federal government.
Taxpayers who fail to contact the agency to satisfy their tax liability or enter into an agreement to do so are eligible to be included in the Caught in the Web program. These individuals and businesses, which have already had liens filed against them, are notified prior to the list’s posting that they will be included.
MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Shapiro 443-871-2244 (cell), 410-260-7305 (office)