Obviously, each state is different in rules and some don't even have an income tax, but generally: Like the Federal, there is an amount of earnings, under which, you would not have to pay anything. That amount is probably both different and calculated different that for the Feds.
If they have a tax you must/should file for it, every year - (certainly none have an every other year or whenever you feel like it tax or such).
Some reasons: The statute of limitations on assessment is generally fairly short...that is the time period the State has to look and say you didn't pay enough and ask for more...HOWEVER the time it has --starts-- with the filing of the return. Don't file and you are forever liable!
Many States (and even the Feds) have benefits that come to you by filing a return, even - or especially - if your income is below where you have to pay a tax. (For example, in NJ has a property tax rebate as part of it's return, other States have credits like the Federal earned income credit, and more).
If your earnings were as an employee, or you had any amounts withheld (like the state may do on unemployment payments, etc.), then the only way to get credit and get those $ back is to file a return and claim them.
All studies have shown and it's always been amazing, how many people think they are getting away with something by not filing a return, when had they done so they actually had hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars coming back to them!
It doesn't matter if you receive an income tax refund or not. The fact is is you worked and had federal and state taxes taken out you would need to file your taxes every year. However, much depends on your filing status (single, married, etc) and how much you made that year on whether you would file. To be on the safe side if you had federal and state taken out of your checks you should file.
Federal income tax is the same no matter which state you live in or work in. If you worked in PA, you will have to file a state tax return for PA if they have state income taxes. If you live in one state and work in another you may have to file in both states. As a resident on one and a non-resident in the other. If you move in the middle of a calendar year you may have to file in both as a part year resident.
You have to file every year that your income meets the minimum mandatory filing requirements in Virginia. You can find those requirements here: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=WhoMustFile But you also should file if you had any tax withheld from your wages or from your other payments. If you don't file, you will forfeit any refund you had coming. If you wanted to know whether you can combine two different years and file them together, the answer is no. You must file for every year separately.
Many people will try to file their own taxes each year using software that they have purchased. Unfortunately, many of these individuals may not realize that they can actually file their taxes online for free. In most cases, websites that offer this feature will not charge you to file your federal income taxes. If you are trying to file your state information, you may have to pay an additional fee. People who use these websites may find that they are easy to navigate and use, making the entire process extremely simple for them when they do this each and every year.
You can file a federal tax return and get a refund regardless of the status of your state taxes. If you owe overdue taxes to the state and they have gotten around to it, the state can intercept your federal refund. So, your refund might go to paying your overdue state taxes instead of being sent to you. But unless you file a federal tax return, no refund will be generated and your state taxes will not be paid.
You will want to consult with your tax specialist for each state you need to file your taxes with. Filing multi state returns can get very complicated, as each state has different rules. The only states that do not have state income tax is florida, Alaska and Nevada and New Hampshire and 5 others. If you live in a state which imposes tax you must file both federal and state tax returns each year.
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