What Should You Do if You Filed Federal Taxes But Not State Taxes?

If you filed your federal tax return without filing your state tax returns, here’s what you need to do to fix it.

This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.

Can you file state taxes without filing federal taxes?

You generally need to file state taxes with your federal taxes. The reason is that most states use the data from your federal tax return.

In fact, most states won’t accept an electronically filed state tax return unless you submit it at the same time as your federal tax return.

To file state taxes without filing your federal taxes together, you’ll need to file on paper.

How do you file your state taxes if you already filed your federal taxes?

If you already filed your federal taxes but forgot your state taxes or had a problem, you’ll need to mail in your tax return. This doesn’t necessarily mean doing your taxes by hand.

If you used tax software for your federal tax return, you might be able to add your state tax return to it. Print off the state tax return and mail it in.

If you can’t use your original tax software to add a state tax return, you’ll need to create a new tax return using a provider that can.

  1. Copy the information from your original federal tax return.
  2. Complete the needed state tax return.
  3. Some services, like E-File, will waive your federal tax return filing fee if you tell them you only need the state return.
  4. Don’t file the new federal tax return. If the software makes you file it to complete the process, select the file by mail option and don’t mail it in.
  5. Print and mail your state tax return.

Will you need to amend your federal tax return if you add a state tax return?

You usually won’t need to amend your federal tax return if you add a state tax return. Your state tax return usually won’t change your federal tax return.

You may be entitled to a bigger refund if you itemize your deductions, owe state taxes, and didn’t already max out your State And Local Taxes deduction. In that case, you will want to amend your return to get the bigger refund.

Are there any reasons to only file state taxes but not federal taxes?

It usually won’t be a good idea to only file your state tax return but not your federal tax return. First, your state might require the federal tax return if they use that information.

If you owe money on your federal taxes, not filing your federal tax return costs you more money than filing without paying.

If you need an extension on your federal taxes, you can usually get one on your state taxes as well.

If you’re in a situation where you have to file a state tax return but aren’t required to file a federal tax return, it’s often easier to just file the federal tax return. Filing the federal return usually won’t make you owe money. If you owed money, you almost always would have been required to file a federal tax return.

Are there any reasons to only file federal taxes but not state taxes?

For the same reasons as above, it’s usually not a good idea to only file your federal tax returns but not file your state tax returns.

If you need more time to file your state taxes, the best option is usually to:

  • Complete your federal tax return but not file it.
  • Pay any balance that you owe by the filing deadline.
  • Request an extension of time to file for both your federal and state taxes.
  • File your federal tax return when you’re ready to file your state tax return.

Talk to a tax professional.

If you’re having problems filing state and federal tax returns together, it’s a good idea to talk to a tax professional. This is an unusual situation since you usually complete these tax returns together. The potential problems depend on your exact situation, so the right solution for you can also vary.

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