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I owe from 1993?

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From left field, I received a letter from the Comptroller of Maryland stating I owe in excess of 1600.00 of delinquent income tax from 1993.

Hard to remember, but I was living in NJ and moved to Maryland in the middle of the year (1993). They threaten leins, future wages etc.

I was in college back then and my employment history is sketchy at best, with some jobs under the table, waitering, etc. Some establishments do not exist today to try to gain records.

According to Maryland this is an estimate of what I should have made but other than that they provided no helpful info. All they want is money.


Is this really happening?
I've sent a W2 request form to the IRS for 1993 but according to the form they can't promise their records will go that far back.
Is this an IRS issue or MD state tax issue? Why didn't the IRS contact me? Are the states their muscle boys?

Any help would be provided as this is an ultimate slap in the face..



Maryland assessment

This a MD state tax issue and not an IRS issue. If you moved to Md in the middle of 1993 and earned income after that during the year, you were required to file a Md income tax return. Assuming you did not file one, it sounds like Md is following its proper procedure with you. Probably the only thing you can do to help is to get the IRS records and try and show that you owe less than Md calculated; however, if you did get a notice to file a return within 30 days and you did not, then there is probably nothing you can do to prevent the assessment. The applicable Maryland law follows:

If an individual fails to file an income tax return, a notice and demand for a return will be mailed to the individual, requiring that he or she file the return and pay the tax within 30 days after the date on which the notice is mailed (Sec. 13-304, Tax General Art.). If the notice is mailed and the person fails to file the return, the Comptroller may estimate income using the best information in his possession and assess a tax not exceeding twice the income tax due on the estimated income (Sec. 13-405, Tax General Art.).

An income tax assessment may be made at any time if (Sec. 13-1101(b), Tax General Art.):… (3) a return is not filed as required;


Thanks for the info....

I have submitted a request from the IRS for 1993, hopefully they will come through...I fear it will be my word versus their word regarding income.

What would be their response if I said I moved to Maryland and did NOT work at all. This is the case as I was taking a class and was working some 'under the table' shifts being supported by parents and friends...

Again, this issue is 9 years ago, very difficult to come up with facts and figures to declare my innocence. How and why are they on to me?? This issue would be easier to overcome if MD was helpful in their claim, they are not...

This estimation....(if I lived in NJ and MD for 6 mos) are they estimating what I made in NJ for 6 months and applying state tax to MD for the remaining 6 mos. thinking my salary is the same?

Would hiring a lawyer or CPA help my cause??

Thanks again,


Lawyer or CPA

It is difficult to know if a lawyer or CPA could help without seeing all the paperwork, but it definitely is possible that it could help.

In a case such as yours, I would suggest a CPA. They would tend to know the state income tax law as well as a lawyer, and they would probably charge less for the service.

At the very least, you would know that your rights have been respected if you do hire a professional. Also, if the CPA can not reduce the amount owed, he/she may be able to arrange reasonable payment terms with the state for you.

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