Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published March 08, 2011

Top 50 Tax Cheats Exposed!

-Comptroller Releases Names of Those Owing More Than $11 Million-

Annapolis, Md (March 8, 2011) – Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced the names of 25 businesses and 25 individuals owing more than $11 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. His Caught in the Web program lists the names of these scofflaws on the agency's Website in an effort to shame them into paying up.

"The vast majority of Marylanders are hard-working, honest and pay their fair share in state taxes," said Comptroller Franchot. "This program highlights those who enjoy the benefits of living in Maryland but allow their neighbors to shoulder all the financial costs. The Comptroller's Office is committed to ensuring that all taxpayers pay their fair share."

Since the program's inception in 2000, the agency has collected nearly $26 million from 587 delinquent taxpayers. The most recent Caught in the Web list includes liabilities of more than $7.9 million in back taxes, penalties and interest from 25 individuals and $3.4 million from 25 businesses.

Created to send a message to those who have ignored all attempts by the state to collect overdue taxes, the program names the 50 worst delinquents owing the largest amounts in back taxes on the agency's Website for six months or until payment has been received or a payment plan is set up.

Initially, the Comptroller's Office sends a letter to a delinquent taxpayer listing any unpaid charges incurred for taxes, interest and penalties and asking for return correspondence.

Should the taxpayer fail to pay, provide a qualifying reason for having not yet paid, or entered into a payment plan, the Comptroller's Office may then:

* file a lien
* garnish wages
* prevent renewal of state business licenses
* prevent renewal of professional and occupational licenses
* attach assets (including bank accounts)
* intercept state and federal tax refunds
* file an estimated assessment for taxes due in unreported periods
* issue a summons to appear at a hearing to revoke a sales tax license or initiate other legal processes
* suspend state payments if the taxpayer does business with the state

Taxpayers, who either fail to contact the agency and satisfy their tax liability or enter into an agreement to do so, are then eligible to be included in the Caught in the Web program. These individuals and businesses are notified prior to the list's posting that they will be included.