Who Has to File a Maryland Tax Return?

Who Has to File a Maryland Tax Return?

Whether you’re a Maryland resident or nonresident, find out if you have to file a MD tax return

State taxes are one of the most complicated elements of tax. Sometimes just figuring out whether you have to file at all can be the hardest part.

If you live or work in Maryland you likely have to file a MD tax return. The first step is figuring out whether you are a resident or not. Then, refer to the filing requirements below to see if you have to file a return.


Most residents – generally those who live in Maryland – have to file a tax return. As residents, the state of Maryland has the right to tax all of your income, no matter where it was earned.

The only exception is those whose income falls below the filing threshold. For example, a single person under the age of 65 who makes less than $9,750 doesn’t have to file a return.

Refer to the chart at the bottom of the article to see the filing threshhold for your age and filing status.


Nonresidents are generally those who live in a state other than Maryland. Nonresidents have to file a tax return if they received income from Maryland sources. In this case, however, you only have to pay tax on the income you earned in Maryland, not your total income.

As is the case with residents, nonresidents do not have to file a return if their income is below the filing thresholds at the bottom of this article. However, the filing thresholds apply to your overall income, not just your Maryland-source income. So if your overall income is above the threshold but your Maryland-source income is below it, you still have to file.

Special cases for nonresidents

Maryland has reciprocal agreements with the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. If you live in one of those states but work in Maryland, you may not need to file a Maryland return. For more information, refer to section 11 of the Nonresident Tax Forms & Instructions.

The other special case in which you have to file a Maryland return even if you don’t meet the normal requirements: if Maryland taxes were wrongly withheld from your wages. In this case, even though you don’t actually owe any taxes to Maryland, you still have to file in order to get that money refunded back to you. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to get your withholding right at the beginning of the tax year.

Tax Year 2012 Filing Thresholds

The following are the income thresholds below which you do not need to file a return. They are the same for Maryland taxes as they are for federal taxes, so if you make less than these income limits you don’t have to file a state or federal return.

Note that these income thresholds apply to both Maryland residents and nonresidents.


Under 65 $9,750
65 or older $11,200

Head of Household

Under 65 $12,500
65 or older $13,950

Married Filing Jointly

Both under 65 $19,500
One spouse 65 or older $20,650
Both 65 or older $21,800

Married Filing Separately

All ages $3,800

Qualifying Widow(er)

Under 65 $15,700
65 or older $16,850

Still haven’t filed your Maryland tax return? No problem. You can take care of it online through RapidTax.

Photo via Mark Peters on Flickr.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 at 11:45 am and is filed under Tax Tips.

2 Responses to “Who Has to File a Maryland Tax Return?”

  1. Shelby says:

    If I am from Maryland but go to college in North Carolina (and worked in North Carolina during the school year), how do I file my taxes if taxes were withheld from NC?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shelby,
      You will file a resident return for Maryland a non-resident return for North Carolina. As a resident filing a non-resident return, you will only be taxed by NC on your income from NC sources.

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