What Is a State Tax Return?

By Aaron Charles
A state tax return contains financial information.

A young woman holding a pen, doing her taxes image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com

A state tax return is a yearly report submitted to a U.S. state showing how much a taxpayer earned for a given tax year, and whether he has a debt to the state authority, or is owed a refund.

Basics

A state tax return requires sensitive personal information be entered on either a paper or electronic form. A taxpayer must enter her full legal name, date of birth, social security number and present address.

Similar to a federal tax return, a taxpayer can file singly or she may file jointly, if legally married.

Features

State tax returns allow for deductions taken from a taxpayer's taxable income. States vary in what they allow as deductions, with examples including specific medical or business expenses. Certified tax professionals can offer state-tailored expertise regarding what would constitute an acceptable deduction within your state.

Additional

Credits also reduce the amount of tax you may owe based on your return. Examples of state-issued credits include retirement income, child-care and political contribution credits, as well as credits for the disabled and elderly.

Deadlines for submitting state income tax returns typically fall annually on April 15. States may impose penalties upon taxpayers for filing a return late and for overdue tax payments.

About the Author

Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."