Tax Help

Income Tax Filing Information

Please visit the below IRS website links for assistance in filing your taxes. Each contains a "what’s new for 2010" section that I hope you will find helpful. (link is external) (link is external) (link is external)

Last Minute Filing Tips (link is external)

For individuals who earned less than $57k in 2009, the IRS Free File program provides free federal income tax preparation and electronic filing. Many companies offer free or paid state tax preparation and efiling services. Some companies may not offer state tax preparation and e-file services for all states. Visit the IRS website for more information.

The Earned Income Tax Credit or the EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. Visit this section (link is external) of the IRS website to determine if you are eligible for this credit.

Additionally, please see the below news release from the IRS. As always, I encourage you to contact my Baltimore office if you ever need personal assistance.

IRS Outlines Additional Steps to Assist Unemployed Taxpayers and Others

MD-2010-10,  March 9, 2010

BALTIMORE — The Internal Revenue Service today announced several additional steps it is taking this tax season to help people having difficulties meeting their tax obligations because of unemployment or other financial problems.

The steps –– an expansion of efforts (link is external)that began more than a year ago –– include additional flexibility on offers in compromise for struggling taxpayers, a series of Saturday “open houses” offering taxpayers extra opportunities to work out tax problems face to face with the IRS, special outreach with partner groups to unemployed taxpayers and the availability of more information on a special section of the IRS Web site.

“Times are tough for many people, and the IRS wants to do everything it can to help people who have lost their job or face financial strain,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “We continue to make adjustments to key programs and expand ways for people to get help. We’re doing everything we can to help ease the burden on struggling taxpayers.”

New Flexibility for Offers in Compromise

For some taxpayers, an offer in compromise –– an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s debt for less than the full amount owed –– continues to be a viable option. IRS employees will now have additional flexibility when considering offers in compromise from taxpayers facing economic troubles, including the recently unemployed.

Specifically, IRS employees will be permitted to consider a taxpayer’s current income and potential for future income when negotiating an offer in compromise. Normally, the standard practice is to judge an offer amount on a taxpayer’s earnings in prior years. This new step provides greater flexibility when considering offers in compromise from the unemployed. The IRS may also require that a taxpayer entering into such an offer in compromise agree to pay more if the taxpayer’s financial situation improves significantly.

These immediate steps are part of an on-going effort by the IRS to ensure the availability of the Offer in Compromise program for taxpayers.

Hundreds of Saturday Open Houses to Resolve Taxpayer Issues

In addition, IRS will hold hundreds of special Saturday open houses to give struggling taxpayers more opportunity to work directly with IRS employees to resolve issues. The offices will be open on March 27 and three additional Saturdays in the spring and early summer. Dates, times and locations will be announced shortly.

During the expanded Saturday hours, taxpayers will be able to address economic hardship issues they may be facing or get help claiming any of the special tax breaks in last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including the:

  • Homebuyer tax credit
  • American Opportunity Credit
  • Making Work Pay credit Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit

In addition to these special Saturdays, taxpayers can take advantage of toll-free telephone assistance and regularly scheduled hours at local Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Taxpayers can find the location, telephone number and business hours of the nearest assistance center by visiting the Contact My Local Office (link is external) page on

Special Outreach Efforts to Unemployed

The IRS is working and coordinating with state departments of revenue and state workforce agencies to help taxpayers who are having problems meeting their tax liabilities because of unemployment or other financial problems.

These coordinated efforts may include opportunities for taxpayers to make payment arrangements and resolve both federal and state tax issues in one place.

Special Section of Created

Taxpayers who are unemployed or struggling financially can find information in a new electronic tax center (link is external)on the IRS Web site, This online tax center (link is external) has numerous resources including links to information on tax assistance and relief to help struggling taxpayers

Other Options Available for Taxpayers

The IRS will continue to offer other help to taxpayers, including:

  • Assistance of the Taxpayer Advocate Service for those taxpayers experiencing particular hardship navigating the IRS.
  • Postponement of collection actions in certain hardship cases.
  • Added flexibility for missed payments on installment agreements and offers in compromise for previously compliant individuals having difficulty paying.
  • Additional review of home values for offers in compromise in cases where real-estate valuations may not be accurate.
  • Accelerated levy releases for taxpayers facing economic hardship.

In addition, the IRS will accelerate lien relief for homeowners if a taxpayer cannot refinance or sell a home because of a tax lien. As previously announced (link is external), a taxpayer seeking to refinance or sell a home may request the IRS make a tax lien secondary to the lien by the lending institution that is refinancing or restructuring a loan. The taxpayer may also request the IRS discharge its claim if the home is being sold for less than the amount of the mortgage lien under certain circumstances.

YouTube Videos:
Owe Taxes But Can’t Pay? (link is external)
Job Search Expenses (link is external) | SPA (link is external)| ASL (link is external)

More on Tax Help

July 25, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. (July 25, 2019) – Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) introduced the Opportunity Zone Lead Remediation Impact Act of 2019 to eradicate lead poisoning in Census tracks designated as an Opportunity Zone.

Opportunity Zones were created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to provide tax incentives for investment in underserved areas.  Currently, there is no mandate for investments to be made to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents within the Opportunity Zone.

October 3, 2018 In The News

The congressman who could become President Donald Trump’s recurring political nightmare has photos on his office walls of himself with anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, pathbreaking boxer Muhammad Ali and civil rights activist Coretta Scott King.

Each were fighters of a sort, and Rep. Elijah Cummings says he is, too. The Baltimore Democrat’s battles usually involve pushing back as best he can on Trump administration policies and practices.

April 18, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. (Apr. 17, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) released a Democratic staff report on the specific effects of the new Republican tax law on homeowners in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County in Maryland.
January 12, 2018 Press Release

Today, the Maryland Delegation sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan inquiring about the Governor’s plans to protect Marylanders from the impact of the Republican tax bill’s cap of the State and Local Tax deduction. Congressman Cummings was joined in the letter by Senators Van Hollen and Cardin and Congressmen Hoyer, Brown, Delaney, Raskin, Ruppersberger, and Sarbanes. The group released the letter today at a roundtable held by Senator Van Hollen and Congressmen Hoyer and Brown that focused on hearing constituent and business concerns on the tax bill.

September 21, 2015 Page
View information about getting tax assistance.
February 23, 2011 Press Release

Cummings Joins Treasury Department To Announce Millions in Tax Credits for Maryland