How to Unlock Tax Benefits and Retirement Plans with MarylandSaves

Authored by James Eaton, CPA/PFS, MBA, Director, and Chris Distefano, Manager |  SC&H Tax Services

First passed in 2016 and officially rolled out in late 2022, the MarylandSaves Workplace Savings program is designed to expand retirement plan benefits to employees in Maryland. The program was created by the State of Maryland to break down barriers to retirement savings that small businesses and non-profits face. For employers to maintain compliance, they must annually review the program and its requirements. We’re diving into the details below–including who is qualified to participate, filing fee exemptions, and how to register.

How Does the MarylandSaves Program Benefit My Business?

The MarylandSaves program offers many features of popular employer retirement plans without costly, complex obstacles. Employers have no reporting requirements and pay zero cost to facilitate MarylandSaves for their employees. All administrative fees are paid from employee accounts.

Who is Qualified for the MarylandSaves Program?

Any Maryland business can participate in the MarylandSaves Workplace Savings Program. However, under new Maryland law, employers may be required to provide employees with a qualified retirement program or set up a WorkLife Savings Account through MarylandSaves if the employer:

  • Has at least one W-2 employee
  • Pays employees through a payroll service or system
  • Has been in operation for at least two years

Annual Filing Fee Exemption

Employers who provide a qualified retirement program to employees may be eligible for an exemption from the Maryland SDAT $300 annual filing fee.

Retirement plans that qualify for the annual filing fee exemption include:

  • 401(k) plans
  • 403(b) plans
  • Simplified Employee Pension (SEP plans)
  • SIMPLE IRA plans
  • Governmental deferred compensation plan under section 457(b)

Important Note: payroll deduction IRAs do not qualify for the exemption

How to Register

  1. First, request an access code here using your EIN.
  2. Once you have an access code (received electronically or by mail), register your business here. If your business covers employees through MarylandSaves WorkLife Savings Accounts, SDAT will be automatically notified that you qualify for the Annual Report Filing Fee waiver
  3. Forward the registration confirmation to your accountant so that they know the annual fee has been waived

If your business already offers a qualified retirement program, certify your business for exemption here. Once you’ve been issued an exemption code, forward that information to your accountant to be included on your Maryland Personal Property tax return.

Important Note: Self-certifications must be completed before December 1, 2023, in order to be eligible for the $300 exemption for the Maryland SDAT annual filing fee, which will be due April 15, 2024.

Interested in how the MarylandSaves program could help your business, but not sure where to start? Reach out to our experienced team of business tax experts to start reaping the benefits of this unique Maryland program.