The case of Wynne vs. Comptroller of Maryland continues, at least as it relates to the interest portion. The interest paid on the refunds was reduced to 3% by the legislature at the end of the 2015 Legislative Session.
A $38 million dollar class action suit was filed on November 1, 2015 in Baltimore City against the Comptroller. The Comptroller has requested the suit be dismissed because the plaintiff did not exhaust the Comptroller’s appeals process.
Initially, the various taxpayers who received the 3% interest could write a letter to the Comptroller within 90 days of receiving the refund to protest the receipt of the reduced interest. This letter set in motion another step in the process.
The denial response letter to the initial request outlines a process that must be taken within 30 days in order to appeal the denial of the reduced interest. It is suggested that taxpayers file for the appeal to the Comptroller’s Hearings and Appeals Section. If they do not file the appeal and the class action complaint is dismissed, the taxpayers’ appeal rights and hope for additional interest die completely.
The Denial Response Letter reads as follows:
If you wish to dispute this decision to deny your claim for refund in whole or in part, you must file a written appeal with the Comptroller’s Hearing and Appeals Section within thirty (30) days of the date of this letter. You may submit your appeal online at www.marylandtaxes.com, via facsimile to (410)-333-07745, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via U.S mail to:
Hearing and Appeals Section
Comptroller of Maryland
301 W Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2383
We expect that, just as happened with all of the amended returns/protective claims that were filed while the many steps of the litigation for the Wynne case itself proceeded, the Comptroller’s Office will place all of the Hearings and Appeals letters on hold while some taxpayer takes the challenge through the courts.
We recommend anyone receiving a denial letter to follow-up with a letter of appeal to the Comptroller’s Hearing and Appeals Section.
To request a template for the letter of appeal to the Hearings and Appeals Section, please contact Jerry Beard at email@example.com
Jerry E. Beard, CPA, MST, is a Supervisor in the Tax Department of Ellin & Tucker. He has extensive hands-on experience providing tax compliance, planning, and consulting for a variety of clients with privately owned business operating in various industries and is also well versed in various tax services for trusts, estates and high net-worth individuals.