State tax tidbits Feed

Hawaii's exceptional landscape is a major part of the island chain's appeal. In order to keep things lush, since 2004 some Aloha State taxpayers have been able to claim a deduction for taking care of trees. We're not talking any old trees. The deduction is for the care of trees that have been designated exceptional. Hawaiian filers may deduct up to $3,000 per exceptional tree for qualified expenditures made during the tax year to maintain the tree on private property. Each tree must be deemed exceptional by a certified arborist. The notarized affidavit, which must be submitted with the taxpayer's... Read more →

Wisconsin residents who convert their traditional IRAs to Roths this year won't have to worry about doing double tax calculations. Badger State lawmakers have adopted the same Roth conversion rules as Uncle Sam. Whenever Congress makes changes, federal-state tax law conformity is always an issue. Many times and for many reasons, states don't follow the U.S. tax code and that creates all sorts of headaches for filers. But thanks to a new Wisconsin law, all of the state's higher-income taxpayers who opt under the new federal law to turn their old IRAs into Roths this year also will be able... Read more →

While West Virginia does collect income tax on Social Security benefits if the payments are includible in a filer's federal income, it does offer its retired taxpayers several other income offsets. Computation of taxable Mountain State income begins with a taxpayer's federal adjusted gross income. Then certain additions or subtractions are made. Filers age 65 or older during any part of the tax year may deduct up to $8,000 from their federal income amount for West Virginia tax purposes. This reduction in income also is available to state taxpayers who are permanently and totally disabled. Where a couple files a... Read more →

Homeowners get lots of tax breaks, but Vermont also offers renters a tax credit for their housing payments. Eligible renters can get a portion of rent paid that exceeds, depending on your income, 2 percent, 4.5 percent or 5 percent of that earnings amount. The maximum rebate is $8,000. To qualify for the Renter Rebate Program you must meet all of the following requirements: You were a legal resident of Vermont for the entire calendar. You were not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer. Your household income did not exceed $47,000. You are the only person in the household... Read more →

Utah residents who donate an organ get more than the satisfaction of helping someone else live. They could get a tax credit of up to $10,000. The Live Organ Donation Expenses Credit can be claimed for certain expenses incurred by a taxpayer who donates one or more of their qualified organs. The tax-approved donations are bone marrow or any part of an intestine, kidney, liver, lung or pancreas. Eligible expenses related to such donations include travel, lodging and lost wages. The credit is nonrefundable, meaning it can reduce your Beehive State tax bill to zero but you won't get any... Read more →

You might have seen Tennessee in the list of states that don't collect an income tax. That's correct ... to a point. The Volunteer State doesn't tax wage income, but it certainly wants its residents to hand over 6 percent of the interest they earn from bonds and notes and from dividends from stock. This tax has been around since 1929. It originally was called the Hall income tax for the senator who sponsored the legislation. The state does, however, offer a break for its senior citizens. If you're older than 65 with total income less than $16,200 as a... Read more →

Families nowadays tend to rely on both husbands and wives bringing home paychecks. Sometimes, though, the combined incomes can push couples into a higher tax bracket. South Carolina has a credit that makes up at least a little for that. The Palmetto State's two wage earner credit of 0.7 percent of the lower spousal income amount can be claimed by a dual earning married couple that files jointly. The instruction booklet for the SC1040 tax return has a brief worksheet for couples to compute their earned income. Be sure to use it. Certain adjustments from South Carolina earned income must... Read more →

With the advent of supermarkets, stores started stocking much more than just food. Such a wide variety of choices is welcomed by most shoppers, but the options also make it hard to keep track of exactly what's taxed and what's not. Enter Rhode Island tax officials. The state's Division of Taxation maintains a comprehensive online catalog of taxable and nontaxable grocery items. The list goes from ace bandages to zippers for clothes, both of which are subject to the state's 7 percent sales tax, and myriad items in between. There definitely are some intriguing entries. Bibles and prayer books are... Read more →

Do you owe back taxes to the Keystone State? Then mark April 26 on your calendar. Beginning that day and running through June 18, some delinquent Pennsylvania taxpayers can apply to the department to participate in the state's tax amnesty. Qualifying taxpayers will be required to file an amnesty return with the Department of Revenue and pay all delinquent taxes. But they'll only have to pay half of the interest that had accrued on the tax debt and all penalty charges will be waived. In addition to personal income taxes, a wide variety of taxes that were delinquent as of... Read more →

Uncle Sam is just beginning a national effort to regulate tax professionals, but Oregon has had an oversight system in place since 1973. Beaver State law requires residents who prepare, advise or assist in the preparation of personal income tax returns for a fee, or represent that they do so, be licensed. Licensing is handled by the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners. Around 4,000 individuals have been issued one of two types of licenses: Apprenticeship license that allows a person to prepare personal income tax returns under supervision of a licensed tax consultant, and Licensed tax consultant status, obtained by... Read more →

The oil industry is still big in Oklahoma, but that's not stopping officials there from offering taxpayers a substantial credit for electric vehicles. The Credit for Investment in Qualified Electric Motor Vehicle Property is worth 50 percent of the price of the vehicle. You can claim it by filing Form 567-B. The credit, however, has not been without controversy. Sooner State tax officials say that under the tax credit law, "the term 'qualified electric motor vehicle property' shall not apply to vehicles known as 'golf carts,' 'go-carts' and other motor vehicles which are manufactured principally for use off the streets... Read more →

Sin taxes on such things as alcohol and tobacco are a popular way for states to collect much needed revenue. To make sure it gets every penny it's owed on tobacco products, Ohio has set up a hotline. By calling toll-free 877-SMOKE-80 (877-766-5380) callers can report retailers suspected of selling untaxed tobacco products. Packs of cigarettes that are sold legitimately bear a state tax stamp. Penalties for selling untaxed tobacco products could be misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the quantities of illegally sold products. Sellers convicted of illegal sales also will owe taxes and penalties on the products that... Read more →

North Dakota tax officials sure know how to be good neighbors. Shoppers from bordering provinces Manitoba or Saskatchewan, or anywhere else in Canada for that matter, might be eligible for a refund of the state sales tax they paid on purchase while visiting North Dakota. The refund is available for individuals only, not businesses, on real goods that are used outside of North Dakota. This includes such things as appliances, jewelry and clothing. Other North Dakota purchases of items or services that are provided or fulfilled in the state, such as hotel rooms, restaurant meals and admission to events, are... Read more →

When 2010 rolled in, so did assessment of North Carolina's 5.75 percent state sales tax on certain digital property. The new tax covers a wide range of digital material, whether delivered or accessed electronically by direct download or by entering a digital code. Covered items include podcasts, ring tones, movies, books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, reports, photographs and greeting cards. In addition, certain electronically-delivered computer software is no longer exempt from sales tax. But there is a new exemption that includes computer software or digital property that becomes a component of other computer software or digital property that is part of... Read more →

New York City's firefighters might have Rescue Me, but volunteer firemen and women throughout the Empire State have a tax credit they can claim on their income tax returns. Actually, the tax break is for emergency medical technicians, too. The Volunteer Firefighters' and Ambulance Workers' credit provides $200 to any New York resident who was an active volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance worker for the entire 2009 tax year. While it's not a huge credit, it is refundable. That means you may get money back if the credit exceeds your state tax liability. To claim this credit you must complete... Read more →

Willard Scott would love New Mexico. The state allows an added exemption for taxpayers who are 100 or older. That's right. Age does have its tax advantages in the Land of Enchantment. The earnings of a person 100 years old or more is exempt from the state's income tax. You must have celebrated that momentous birthday by the end of the tax year for which you claim the exemption. And you'll need to fill out Form PIT-ADJ to make sure the department of Taxation and Revenue knows you're in the tax clear. You also must be a self-sufficient centenarian. If... Read more →

Relax wealthy New Jersey residents. The state's millionaire's tax expired on Dec. 31, 2009. Now the Garden State's top tax rate is 8.97 percent on annual incomes above $500,000. But all you rich folks still have to deal with 2009 taxes. Last year, the 8.97 percent rate was replaced by three rates: 8 percent on earnings between $400,001 and $500,000; 10.25 percent on income between $500,001 and $1 million; and 10.75 percent on folks raking in more than a million dollars a year. Opponents of the temporary 10.75 percent tax say good riddance. Now the hope is that with a... Read more →

New Hampshire individual tax returns are due on April 15, but the state isn't collecting on income its residents earned on the job. That's right. The Granite State doesn't have an income tax on W-2 wages. Before you start packing, note that the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration stays plenty busy. It collects taxes on individuals' interest and dividends income, inheritances and from businesses, as well as a variety of consumer excise and "other" taxes. The state's Interest and Dividends tax is a 5 percent levy on individuals, partnerships and other entities that receive taxable interest and dividends of... Read more →

If you're a football fan, you've seen those corn cob hats that University of Nebraska fans wear. If you're a fan of another Big 12 team, you've probably laughed at the stadium haberdashery. But Cornhuskers isn't just the sports teams' nickname. It's a representation of agriculture's importance to the entire state. That's also evident on the Nebraska personal income tax form, where on line 32 you'll find the Beginning Farmer Credit. This credit is part of the Beginning Farmer Program, which was created in 1999 because fewer Nebraska young people were going into farming. From 1987 to 1997, according to... Read more →

The Treasure State has a nice prize for its elderly residents. They might be able to claim Montana's Elderly Homeowner/Renter Tax Credit. As the name indicates, this tax break is available to renters as well as homeowners as long as they were 62 or older by Dec. 31. The claimants also must have lived in Montana for at least nine months during the tax year and occupied a Montana residence for six months or more during that time frame. Homeowners calculate their credit based on property taxes paid; renters use the amount of rent paid. Finally, the individuals must have... Read more →