While residents of all states use the same forms to file their federal income tax returns, state income tax forms differ from state to state. As a result, you'll need to use the appropriate forms to file your state income tax return.
State vs. Federal Taxes: Are They the Same?
No, they aren't exactly the same. Most state tax laws are similar to federal tax law, but each state usually differs from the federal rules in some way. Some states choose to omit only certain parts of the Internal Revenue Code (federal tax law), while other states omit nearly all of it. Some states have even created a radically different income tax system that uses a flat rate for all taxpayers, instead of the bracketed tax rates that the IRS uses.
Forty-three states and the District of Columbia impose individual income taxes. The definition of taxable income varies by state (for example, New Hampshire and Tennessee only tax income from dividends and interest), but most states generally follow the federal definition, except that taxpayers who itemize in many states may not deduct state income taxes paid. In addition, states often apply different rules than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for other types of income and have differing tax rates.
No State Income Tax
Only seven states currently do not levy a state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. As mentioned above, residents of New Hampshire and Tennessee are also spared from handing over an extra chunk of their paycheck on April 15, though they do pay taxes on dividends and income from investments.
State Earned Income Credit
Families that qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can reduce the amount of taxes they owe and, since the credit is refundable, even receive money back from the government if the amount of the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia offer their own version of EITC.
Below, you'll find links to each state’s tax forms. Find your state’s site to download the necessary forms and get started filing your state income tax.
|District of Columbia||Missouri||Tennessee|
|Indiana||New Mexico||West Virginia|
Remember, the earlier you file your return, the earlier you will get your refund. State tax agencies tend to be short on staff and are likely to be swamped during April. Getting your return in early and avoiding the April 15th crunch time will help ensure that your return is processed faster. Consider e-filing if your state offers it as an alternative to filing a hardcopy through the mail. E-filing also reduces the time it takes the state to process your return and offers more security for your personal information than using standard mail.
Research the Law:
State Tax Laws : Related Resources
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Tax codes can be complicated. So much so that even federal judges have commented on how confusing they are. A qualified tax lawyer can help you navigate them successfully. Contact a local attorney to schedule a free initial case review to learn more about how they can help with all your tax issues.