Believe it or not, the Internal Revenue Service is not the only government agency that taxes you. In fact, even state governments tax you and send you a check! The reason for this is because state income tax rates are different from federal tax laws. Although federal tax laws receive the majority of the press, they really only reveal half of the story. Your state tax payments are just as important and usually must be submitted on the same day as your federal tax return.
While state income tax laws mirror the federal code, there can be significant key differences between each jurisdiction that are important to understand before you begin the process of filing your actual federal tax return. First of all, you must know what your state and local governments require you to do when it comes to filing your federal tax return. In some states, you must electronically file your return or hand-deliver paper forms to the IRS. In other states, you must mail or deliver forms to the IRS. Keep in mind that these differences are also affected by what types of income you have.
In addition to state tax laws affecting your federal tax return, you may also want to understand which forms you need to file with the IRS, and what types of documents you will need to provide with them. For instance, you will likely need to attach a pay stub or an electronic statement showing you’re employed, so you may want to include this on your federal tax return. Similarly, you will need to attach copies of all of your financial records (pay stubs, W-2s, investment statements etc.)
Even if your state has short, simple statutes that cover all the issues, the federal tax laws are still complex. For instance, you will want to read the internal revenue code as precisely as possible. It isn’t enough just to take a state-by-state approach, because the tax code is different for every taxpayer. Each state has different definitions of what it means to be “incorporated” for tax purposes. If you don’t closely read your state’s tax laws, then you are very likely to forget important facts, which will cause you problems when filing your federal return.
Federal tax laws according to a tax lawyer also cover a host of issues that aren’t addressed by your state and local taxation codes, such as the tax treatment of stock dividends and capital gains. In addition, even though states differ in their definitions of married individuals, corporations are not exempt from the income tax laws. This means that if you have a business, your business income will be taxable. In addition, in the case of a corporation, corporations are considered to be “pass-through” entities, subject to the same limitations on the tax liability as personal assets. If you own shares in a corporation, even if they are personally held, they are liable for the entire corporate tax rate.
If you need help with any aspect of your federal tax code, don’t delay – consult an expert. Taxpayers who let their taxes become too complicated end up hurting themselves financially. The quickest way to solve tax debt problems is to consult with a professional before taking any action. Don’t wait until you are so far in over your head that you don’t know how to get out of the hole.