(Annapolis, Md) - Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Wednesday that Maryland will begin processing personal income tax returns for Tax Year 2015 on January 19, 2016, the same day the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) begins accepting returns. Business tax returns will be accepted and processing will begin January 9, 2016.

"Processing claims promptly and returning taxpayer refunds immediately is my number one priority as Comptroller," Franchot said. "I'm very proud of the agency's long-standing reputation as a national leader in efficiently getting refunds back into the hands of taxpayers and my office looks forward to another successful tax season."

The 2016 tax return filing deadline is Friday, April 15, the same as the IRS deadline. Taxpayers are encouraged to file their returns electronically for the fastest possible processing of their claims and to ensure they receive all possible refunds. A list of approved vendors for use in filing your electronic return can be found at www.marylandtaxes.com.

Free state tax assistance is available at all of the agency's 12 taxpayer service offices, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A list of office locations can be found at www.marylandtaxes.com.

For more information on any tax-related matter, please visit the Comptroller's website at www.marylandtaxes.com or call 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937) or 410-260-7980 in Central Maryland.