Franchot to Testify Before Senate Committees Today on Taxpayer Protection Act

Comptroller’s Legislative Priority Passed House of Delegates by Overwhelming Margin

WHO:             Comptroller Peter Franchot

WHAT:          Comptroller Franchot will testify today before a joint hearing of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee on the Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA) – his proposed legislation to better protect Maryland taxpayers from tax fraud and identify theft. The legislation, HB 162, which passed the House of Delegates last week by a 135-1 vote, will expand the Comptroller’s Office’s efforts to protect taxpayer information and to increase the ability of his agency’s field enforcement agents to effectively hold fraudulent filers and preparers accountable.

Since 2007, the Comptroller’s Office has stopped nearly $153 million in tax fraud. Nationally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates nearly $25 billion worth of tax fraud scheme annually. The proposed legislation adds a fraudulent return preparer penalty, provides Field Enforcement Agents with police authority to properly investigate potential fraud cases, and provides legal authority to issue injunctions against preparers under investigation for fraud to protect consumers while investigations are ongoing.

Comptroller Franchot also will update the committee on the existing actions he and his agency have undertaken to keep up with the growing national issue of tax fraud and identity theft. The TPA is the latest in a series of actions the Comptroller has taken to combat fraud, which has made the Maryland Comptroller’s Office a national leader on this issue. Over the past nine years, the Comptroller’s Office has made unprecedented investments in trained personnel and advanced technology to detect and prevent fraud.

WHEN           Today, March 29, 2016

                        2 p.m.

WHERE:       Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee

                        Miller Senate Building, 2 East

11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401

CONTACT:  Barbara Sauers 410-260-7438 (office), 410-212-9414 (cell)