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 at 11:45 am and is filed under Tax Tips.

10 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.

  2. Aubrie says:

    I live overseas going to school on a military installation and employed by the military and have never worked in Maryland but I have a drivers license from Maryland. Will I still need to file state taxes in Maryland?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Aubrie,

      To answer your question, you’ll need to know the ‘home of record’ and the ‘state of legal residency’ that you have on file with the military. These both remain the same until you update them. Your home of record is typically the state you should use as your tax home as you travel overseas with the military on orders. Now, your state of legal residence is the same as your home of record until you update it to a different state. This is the state you may be liable to pay taxes to. Seeing as your home of record is most likely Maryland, you can contact them or look into other military tax questions here.

  3. Donavan brooks says:

    I am 16 years old and made $8500.federal and state taxes were taken out.can I still file to get all money back that was taken out

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Donavan,

      If you had taxes withheld from your paycheck, it would be smart to file a tax return (even if you are not required to do so). Just make sure that no one is claiming you as a dependent on their tax return if you plan to claim the personal exemption for yourself. If two personal exemptions are claimed for one person, then one of the tax returns are in jeopardy of being rejected by the IRS.

      Keep in mind that you will only receive a refund if too much was withheld from your paycheck to cover taxes you owe (if you owe any at all).

  4. Dwight Short says:

    I moved from Maryland to Virginia on 7/8/2015. My only income is SS, but I did sell a home in Maryland with minimal profit. I have not previously taken the home sale credit. Must I file state taxes in both Maryland and Virginia as I was a Virginia resident at year end?

  5. Ben Williams says:

    I own a home in MD, however on a 2 year contract in TN, (I’m getting ready to obtain a TN drivers license) the payroll will come from TN, will I still be considered a resident of MD and have to pay MD taxes? currently there is no state tax for TN

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ben,

      Each state has slightly different guidelines when it comes to qualifying as a resident for tax purposes. You can check out the Maryland rules HERE. In short, you are a resident if the following is true:

      Your permanent home is or was in Maryland (the law refers to this as your domicile). OR your permanent home is outside of Maryland, but you maintained a place of abode (that is, a place to live) in Maryland for more than six months of the tax year. If this applies to you and you were physically present in the state for 183 days or more, you must file a full-year resident return.

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