Ellin & Tucker Offices

Article of Interest: New Proposed Legislation Could Drastically Affect Filing Fee Structures

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Recommended by: Jerry Beard

The Filing Fee Fairness Act of 2017 is being introduced to change the filing fee structure for the Maryland Form 1, Annual Report and Personal Property Return.  The change moves from a fixed fee, to one that is progressive and based on the amount of taxable personal property a company owns. The current fee (either $300 or $100) is geared to pay the administrative cost of annually renewing the corporate charter data and certifying the reported personal property to the county where the entity property is located.

Fact: for the period ending October 1, 2016, there were 283,333 Form 1’s filed.  159,568 of these Form 1’s filed reported no personal property and are typically filed to keep the company charter open.  95,835 were assessed with a personal property tax base of $9.079 Billion.

Many small business filers who have few computers, desks, copiers, furniture and fixtures would benefit from the change in the fee from the usual to $300 fee to the proposed $150.  Other manufacturing, retail and technology businesses that have many of these types of assets would see their fee increase.  In many cases, the fee would increase dramatically.  Neither Delaware, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia nor West Virginia have this type of fee structure for their personal property returns.

The Economic Matters Committee hearing on the bill is scheduled for February 22nd.

To comment on the legislation, we encourage you to call or write your Delegate or Senator. You may locate your legislator’s contact information on the General Assembly of Maryland website or you may contact the Economic Matters Committee members.

JERRYJerry 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.

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