The Maryland Comptroller is auditing my business regarding sales and use tax reporting. Can I be held personally liable for those taxes even though they relate to my business?

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Yes. If the Comptroller finds your business liable for sales and use tax, then you could be held personally liable for the tax, interest, and penalties assessed. Maryland law extends personal liability for sales and use tax to different individuals based on the type of entity involved in the audit.  For example:

If your business is a corporation:

Then personal liability can extend to the President, Vice president or Treasurer of the corporation and any officer of the corporation who directly or indirectly owns more than 20% of the stock of the corporation.

If your business is a limited liability company:

Then personal liability can extend to all members, if your company does not have an operating agreement. If your company has an operating agreement, then personal liability can extend to those individuals who manage the business and affairs of the company.

If your business is a limited liability partnership:

Then personal liability can extend to all general partners, if your partnership does not have a written partnership agreement. If your partnership has a written partnership agreement, then those individuals who manage the business affairs of the partnership may be on the hook for the tax, interest and penalties assessed.

Tax Practitioners expect an increase in Maryland sales and use tax audits as the State grapples with budgetary concerns.  If your business is contacted by the Comptroller, then you should contact a tax professional as soon as possible.

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