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Maryland IT System Restored After Disrupting Tax Processes

The disruption was tied to an aging system — not cyber attack — according to a statement from the state comptroller’s office. The outage reportedly delayed tens of thousands of income tax returns.

A message on the Maryland Comptroller’s website notifying customers that the tax processing system has been restored following an outage.
Image courtesy of the Maryland Comptroller's Office (screenshot)
Maryland’s comptroller’s office announced today that its internal tax processing system was once again working after a weeklong outage beginning Mar. 6. During that time, residents could file taxes, but staff could not process tax returns.

The disruption stemmed from issues with an aging system, not a cyber attack, according to a statement from Comptroller Brooke Lierman.

The outage delayed “tens of thousands of income tax returns,” per CBS News. Staff have been working extra hours to process that backlog and expect to clear it by Mar. 22, Lierman said in the statement.

“Our staff is actively processing tax returns, refund requests and direct debit requests and is working through the backlog created during the week when our system was not functioning,” the comptroller’s office said in a notice on its website homepage.

The issue arose when a data filing system became too full and shut down part of the tax filing process, Lierman said, per CBS.

She said the incident should be a call to update the office’s technology.

“This systems outage highlights the need for the Office of the Comptroller to modernize and update our legacy IT systems — some decades old — in order to improve the services offered by our agency, a key recommendation of my Transition Team,” Lieberman wrote in the statement.

The comptroller’s office hired its first CIO this month, appointing Robert O’Connor, the former CIO for the Baltimore County Government Enterprise. He is charged with modernizing the office’s legacy tech, including transitioning from the old mainframe and onto a cloud platform.