A new, refundable income tax credit is available for Maryland small businesses that have 14 or fewer employees. The business must employ at least one “qualified employee” to claim the credit.

The credit is available for the 2018 tax year and beyond.


Qualified Employees

To be considered a “qualified employee,” an individual must:

  • be employed by the small business;
  • earn wages that are no more than 250% of the federal poverty guidelines for a single-person household; and
  • earn paid sick and safe leave under Maryland law.


Amount of Credit

The credit is equal to the lesser of:

  • $500 for each qualified employee; or
  • the total amount of paid sick and safe leave accrued by all qualified employees.


Certificate Required

A business must apply for and receive a tax certificate from the Maryland Department of Commerce (DOC) to claim the credit. The DOC must:

  • approve all applications that qualify for the credit on a first-come, first-served basis; and
  • let a business know if its credit application is approved or denied within 45 days.

In addition, the DOC may not issue tax certificates exceeding $5 million in any given year.