North Carolina State Income Tax Overview

North Carolina has a state income tax, in addition to the federal income tax imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The information below is a basic overview of key points about North Carolina state income tax.

Filing Requirements for North Carolina State Income Tax

North Carolina considers residency when determining who has to file state income tax as follows.

Full-Year Resident of North Carolina

If you live in North Carolina the entire year, you must file a North Carolina state income tax return if your income exceeds the following amounts:

If You Are:

A Return is Required if Your Gross Income is More Than:

Single

$5,500

Single (age 65 or over)

$6,250

Married:

Filing Joint Return

$11,000

Filing Joint Return
one spouse age 65 or over

$11,600

Filing Joint Return
both spouses age 65 or over

$12,200

Married:

Filing Separate Return

$2,500

Head of Household

$6,900

Head of Household
(age 65 or over)

$7,650

Qualifying Widow (or widower)
with dependent child

$8,500

Qualifying Widow (or widower)
(age 65 or over)

$9,100

Income includes but may not be limited to salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, taxable interest, social security benefits, and any other compensation received for providing a service.

Part-Year Resident of North Carolina

If you live in North Carolina for only part of the year, you must file a North Carolina state income tax if any of the following are true:

  • You earned income from any source, even those outside of North Carolina, while you were a resident of North Carolina.
  • You received income while living outside of North Carolina that is from a source in North Carolina.  This North Carolina source can be property, a business, or gambling winnings.

Non-Residents of North Carolina

If you live outside of North Carolina for the entire year, you must file a North Carolina state income tax return if you received income from a North Carolina source.  Again, this North Carolina source can be property, a business, or gambling winnings.

Filing Date for North Carolina State Income Tax

North Carolina generally uses the filing date established by the IRS for federal income tax returns as the date when state income tax returns must be filed.  Likewise, North Carolina permits a six-month extension on the filing of state income tax returns when the taxpayer submits the appropriate forms to request an extension.  However, an extension only applies to the filing of the tax return; an estimate of tax owed must still be paid by the original filing date or the taxpayer must pay a 10 percent penalty plus interest.

In addition, if you are living outside of the country on the regular filing date for your tax return, you are granted an automatic four-month extension on the filing date.

Tax Rates for North Carolina State Income Tax

State income tax in North Carolina is based on an adjustable rate ranging from 6% to 7.75% depending on the amount of your taxable income.  The exact amount of tax can be calculated using the tables below.

If your filing status is single;

and taxable income is more than:

but not over:

your tax is:

$ 0 $12,750 6% OF THE NC TAXABLE INCOME AMOUNT ON FORM D-400
$12,750 $60,000 $765 + 7% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $12,750
$60,000 _______ $4,072.50 + 7.75% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $60,000

If your filing status is head of household;

and taxable income is more than:

but not over:

your tax is:

$ 0 $17,000 6% OF THE NC TAXABLE INCOME AMOUNT ON FORM D-400
$17,000 $80,000 $1,020 + 7% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $17,000
$80,000 _______ $5,430 + 7.75% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $80,000

If your filing status is married, filing jointly or qualifying widow or widower;

and taxable income is more than:

but not over:

your tax is:

$ 0 $21,250 6% OF THE NC TAXABLE INCOME AMOUNT ON FORM D-400
$21,250 $100,000 $1,275 + 7% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $21,250
$100,000 ________ $6,787.50 + 7.75% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $100,000

If your filing status is married, filing separately;

and taxable income is more than:

but not over:

your tax is:

$ 0 $10,625 6% OF THE NC TAXABLE INCOME AMOUNT ON FORM D-400
$10,625 $50,000 $637.50 + 7% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $10,625
$50,000 _______ $3,393.75 + 7.75% OF THE AMOUNT OVER $50,000

Legal Assistance with State Income Tax

You should not consider the information above legal advice.  But if you do need legal help in completing or filing your state income tax, you should speak with a tax attorney who is familiar with North Caroline tax law.

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.