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Maryland Tax Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can the beneficiary get the stepped-up basis if an executor sells the house through the estate?

I am executor and beneficiary to a rental house. I want to sell it to the current tenant. I want to avoid capital gains liability. If I sell the house through the estate now as executor versus waiting for it to be transfered into my name and then sell it, will the estate then be liable for the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Apr 6, 2022

The estate has a stepped up basis and can sell it and avoid capital gains assuming the net sale proceeds are equal to or less than the date of death value. If instead the estate distributes the house to you and then you sell it, the result is the same. You will get that same stepped up basis.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: I've been paying taxes on property for 60 years.. How can I get a reimbursement as they say I no longer own it?

We have been paying taxes for years and just found out the property is no longer ours. We've been paying taxes every year for over 60 years since the death of our father. How can I get my money back from the state of Maryland.. They sent me statements and accepted my money for property taxes... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2022

Generally speaking anyone can pay anyone else's property taxes... the state will not reimburse someone for paying taxes on property they do not own.

However, the question prompts another - how was there confusion on the ownership of the property? Tax bills show the name of the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: I'm settling my mom's estate in Maryland and gave the grandchildren her furniture. Do I need to hire an appraiser?

Used furniture - not antique.

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2022

An appraisal is required for most tangible personal property that the decedent dies owning. Under Maryland law a Personal Representative can only value certain kinds of personal property (e.g., automobiles with a blue book value). Unfortunately furniture is not in the list of items a Personal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I am the sole beneficiary of an estate. Can I assign my interest in the estate to a non-family member?

This includes real property. The non-family member is not related to me or the deceased. In addition, what are the tax implications?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 18, 2022

Yes, it is possible to assign your interest, but it will be treated as a gift from you to the other person. You should be careful not to "disclaim" your inheritance, as that would prevent your ability to direct the inheritance to anyone (the disclaimed inheritance would go to the next... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Could someone regret his/her gift and take it back?

Someone gives a certain amount of cash as a gift unconditionally and voluntary*, but later he regrets and asks the receiver to return it. The receiver initially, as a courtesy shows willingness to return it**, but later he changes his mind due to very rude attitude of gift's giver. He wants to... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 10, 2022

A gift is a gift, unconditional and complete upon transfer to the recipient. There are no "take-backs." If the giver now claims it was a loan, then it's a dispute of fact. Your word versus theirs, plus any evidence that supports your claim that it was a gift and not a loan. You... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Valuation for inheritance tax and buyout in Maryland for a house inherited by two siblings

My brother and I inherited our aunt's house, and I want to buy him out. We are trying to determine a value for the buyout and the estate lawyer recommended an appraiser. His appraised value came in considerably higher than the last tax assessment (by about $200k) as well as the approximate... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 27, 2022

Yes. Make a lower offer. If refused, when the house is put up for sale, bid on on it like anyone else. You may end up being the higher bidder, but don’t bid more than you think it’s worth.

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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Our mom died in March 2021, are her children required to file her taxes?

No one had power of attorney. My sister obtained letter of administration to handle the selling of her house.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 28, 2021

Your sister, as Personal Representative of your mother's estate, has the legal obligations that go along with that office. One of those obligations is to file your mother's and the estate's tax returns, including any past years returns not filed. She can use the house proceeds... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Are there tax advantages to our beneficiaries placing our assets, including our homes in a trust
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 3, 2021

Most tax advantages can be obtained with or without a trust, as the primary benefit of a trust is to adress other management and estate plannng purposes (such as avoiding the probate process, but in Maryland that is not always that significant of a reason). There are two types of trusts: revocable... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Hi. I bough a house for $265,000 inn November 2014 with a girlfriend. Her Father actually bought the house outright.

However, he was not put on the deed then or ever. Only myself and girlfriend were on the deed. I was hesitant in buying the house this was as I didn't feel like I was buying the house and didn't have the pride in buying my first home myself. Plus, I did not qualify for the first time home... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jul 27, 2021

Didn’t I answer this yesterday. When you sign papers, they matter. Let a lawyer review what you sighed… ya’know… like the grown ups. You will likely pay for the review.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: I bought a house with a girlfriend in November of 2014. On a side note concerning my girlfriend paying utilities.

Every envelope on the outside in bold all caps red letters read the following, "DELINQUENT NOTICE, PAY IMMEDIATELY OR FACE POTENTIAL UTILITY TURN OFF". One month I finally opened one and there was a substantial amount due because she had not been paying the bill. This similar thing... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jul 26, 2021

To recap, you need to review the real documents with a real lawyer. And, the next time you "signed a document her Father wrote that stated my signature signified I was off the deed" without reviewing it with a lawyer, you'll get exactly what the document might or might not say. What... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Tax advice for inheriting half a condo

In 1998 my parents helped me buy a condo. The deed has my name and my father's name on it. I was told at the time that when he died I would automatically inherit his share of the condo, with no taxes owed. He died in 2011 and I have not tried to change the deed and I'm worried about any... Read more »

Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
answered on Jul 20, 2021

So this is clear under federal income tax law: inheritances are not income. States that have an income tax *generally* piggy back the federal law. So, generally, the only income tax implications that may be tangentially applicable is the "step-up" in income tax basis for the eventual... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: Hello, I am looking into getting a few vending machines that might span a few counties in MD, and I can't find answers

on what will be required. The state site does not help any either. I am military if that helps with anything. Thank you in advance.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 15, 2021

A vending machine license is not required if the following items are offered for sale:

Cigarettes - (Special laws govern the sales of cigarettes through a vending machine. For more information, contact the State License Bureau or the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county in which the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Haven't received a letter regarding back MD taxes from 2015-2017 in over a year. Should I inquire?

Moved to NC in 2018 and received some letters from MD regarding audit and back taxes. My new NC address is on file with them, but I haven't received any letters in over a year. Currently taking care of my federal back taxes from that time period. Should I reach out to MD Comptroller,... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 23, 2021

Maryland has 20 years to collect back income taxes, and they past due balance earns more than 13% annual interest, so the amount you owe is growing. They accept payment plans.

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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Hi Under the new gift tax laws 2018-2025 with a cap of 11.57 million lifetime gift exclusion amount...

If an estate is worth 10 million now, would it be better to gift half of the estate to avoid the 47% estate tax on anything over 5 million which the new law reverts to in 2026...or possibly sooner

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 16, 2021

Treasury Decision 9884 contains the final regulations on this issue, and include a special rule allowing the estate to figure its estate tax credit using the higher of the basic exclusion amount (BEA) applicable to gifts made during life or the BEA applicable on the date of death. So, if you give... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: My mother and I own a house. She wants to sell. I plan not to take any of the proceeds. Do I have a tax liability?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 14, 2021

First, understand what is taxed and what portion of a taxable gain may be exempt from taxation: You can sell your primary residence exempt of capital gains taxes on the first $250,000 if you are single, and $500,000 if married and the property is jointly owed. This exemption is only allowable once... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: If I am inheriting money from a parent’s retail account with Merril Lynch, will I owe Maryland tax on that money?

I was told there is no federal tax but I know Maryland can be tricky with inheritance and taxes.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 3, 2021

Maryland does not tax inheritance of lineal heirs, parents or spouses. A lineal heir is the the direct descendant of the decedent (son, daughter, granddaughter, etc.). Maryland also does not tax a named beneficiary's receipt of funds from a financial account or life insurance policy under a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: I received a tax lien notification from North Carolina for 2013 In 2021?

I didn’t live in NC during that tax period

I never received notification that taxes were owed

I’ve always completed an official change of address

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Mar 1, 2021

You should consult with an attorney in North Carolina since that is where the tax lien was reported. They can help you straighten it out in North Carolina.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I take child tax credit for daughter who lives with me full time 10 months a year in MD? MI judge denied request.

13 year old daughter lives with me in Maryland 10 months a year full time. Michigan denied me taking child tax credit for 3 years because I tool ex's 2019 year for filing. Judge "said" this in court hearing in October 2020 but there's no written order or judge's signature.... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 8, 2021

You risk being held in contempt of court, fined, paying your ex wife’s attorneys fees, reimbursing her for the credit, incurring your own legal fees and costs traveling back for court, and jail. But if the principle is worth that much to you, feel free to thumb your nose at the judge. I cannot... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Questions about selling an inherited house

I inherited a house in Maryland. The estate is in probate and I'm the executor and sole heir (I will be filling for modified administration). As I understand it, the house can be sold either by the estate or deeded to me first before the sale. For both options, when exactly in the probate... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 6, 2021

You can amend the inventory value based either on the tax assessed value or an appraisal by a certified real estate appraiser (not just a real estate agent doing a valuation—must be a certified appraisal). The tax basis in the Property is fixed as of the date of death regardless of whether the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Child Support for Maryland on
Q: If a house is sold in a tax auction in Maryland, what happens to the liens on the house?

House was legally auctioned off at tax sale and the plaintiff is in the process of foreclosing the right to redemption. Current owner (defendant) of the house has no mortgage; the deed is in their name alone. This house/owner has a child support lien on it by the State of Maryland for over $30,000... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Jan 5, 2021

Property tax liens tend to have super priority, meaning they stand first in line before most other kinds of liens. This means that in most cases, if proper notice is given, a tax sale foreclosure case wipes out the other liens and transfers the property free and clear of lesser liens.... Read more »

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