New York State Income Tax Overview

The state of New York is one of the forty-three states that has a state income tax.  Having a state income tax simply means that the state has imposed a tax on income you earn, in addition to the tax imposed by the federal government.  Therefore, you must file a state income tax return each year along with your federal income tax return.

Following are the key questions relating to filing a state income tax return in New York.

Who Has to File?

There are three categories of people who may have to file New York state income tax.

Residents

If you live the entire year in New York, you must file a state income tax return if any of the following are true:

  • You have to file a federal income tax return.
  • Your adjusted gross income was more than $4,000 (or $3,000 if you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer and you are single), even if you did not file a federal income tax return.
  • You want to claim a refundable or carryover credit.
  • You are subject to the New York state minimum income tax.

Non-Residents

If you are not a resident of the state of New York, you must file a state income tax return for New York if any of the following are true:

  • You have a source of income from New York and the federal amount of the adjusted gross income exceeds your standard return for New York.
  • You want to claim a refund of any New York taxes withheld from your pay.
  • You want to claim a refundable or carryover credit.
  • You are subject to the New York state minimum income tax.
  • You had a net operating loss for New York state income tax that without having a similar loss on your federal income tax.

Part-Time Residents

If you are a resident in New York for only part of the year, you must file a state income tax return for New York if any of the following are true:

  • You had New York income while a resident or non-resident.
  • You want to claim a refund of any New York taxes withheld from your pay.
  • You want to claim a refundable or carryover credit.
  • You are subject to the New York state minimum income tax.
  • You had a net operating loss for New York state income tax that without having a similar loss on your federal income tax.
  • You are subject to any other tax on lump-sum distributions from New York

When Do You Have to File?

For the 2011 tax year, the filing date is generally April 17, 2012.  You can obtain a six-month extension by filing the appropriate form: IT-201 for residents and IT-203 for non-residents.

In order to receive an extension, you must submit the extension on or before April 17, 2012.  In addition, you must pay the estimated tax you owe for the 2011 tax year along with the request for an extension.  Failure to file the extension by the required date or to include your estimated tax payment will result in an automatic rejection of the request for extension.

How Do You File?

There are two ways for filing your New York state income tax:

  • E-file when you use software to prepare your state income tax.
  • By mail through the United States Postal Service or private delivery service

Tax Assistance

Remember the information above is general in nature and you should not consider it legal advice.  If you have questions about completing and filing your New York state income tax, you should seek help from a professional tax attorney.  A tax attorney who is familiar with the tax laws of New York will be able to answer your specific questions.

 

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.