Who is required to file a North Carolina individual income tax return?
• Every resident of North Carolina whose income for the taxable year exceeds the amount for his filing status shown in Chart A or B.
• Every part-year resident who received income while a resident of North Carolina or who received income while a nonresident attributable to the ownership of any interest in real or tangible personal property in North Carolina or derived from a business, trade, profession or occupation carried on in North Carolina, or is derived from gambling activities in North Carolina and whose total income for the taxable year exceeds the amount for his filing status shown in Chart A or B.
• Every nonresident who received income for the taxable year from North Carolina sources that was attributable to the ownership of any interest in real or tangible personal property in North Carolina or derived from a business, trade, profession, or occupation carried on in North Carolina, or is derived from gambling activities in North Carolina and whose total income from all sources both inside and outside of North Carolina equals or exceeds the amount for his filing status shown in Chart A or B.
• If you are eligible to claim the State Earned Income Tax Credit or if you had North Carolina income tax withheld during the year but your income is below the amount required for filing, as shown in Chart A or B, you must still file a return to receive a refund.
If you were not required to file a federal income tax return but your gross income from all sources both inside and outside of North Carolina equals or exceeds the amount for your filing status shown in Chart A or B, you must complete a federal return and attach it to your North Carolina income tax return to show how your federal adjusted gross income, deductions, and exemptions were determined. You and your spouse must file a joint North Carolina return if you file a joint federal income tax return, and both of you were residents of North Carolina or both of you had North Carolina taxable income.
If you file a joint federal return and your spouse is a nonresident of North Carolina and had no North Carolina taxable income, you may file a joint State return. Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. However, you still have the option of filing your State return as married filing separately. If you choose to file a separate North Carolina return, you must complete either a federal return as married filing separately reporting only your income, deductions, and exemptions, or a schedule showing the computation of your separate federal taxable income and attach it to your North Carolina return. You must also include a copy of your joint federal return unless your federal return reflects a North Carolina address. When filing a joint return, include the name and social security number of each spouse on the return. Both spouses are jointly and severally liable for the tax due on a joint return unless one spouse has been relieved of any liability for federal income tax purposes as a result of the "innocent spouse" rules provided under Internal Revenue Code Section 6015.
Chart A- For Most Taxpayers
|Must File if Gross Income Exceeds
|Single (over 65)
|Married Filing Joint Return
|Married Filing Joint-one over age 65
|Married Filing Joint-both over age 65
|Married- Filing Separate Return
|Head of Household
|Head of Household- age 65 or over
|Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent child
|Qualifying Widow(er) - over age 65
Chart B-For Children and Other Dependents: See the chart by clicking here and going to page 5
Out of the Country:
If you were a U.S. citizen or resident and were out of the country on the regular due date of your return (April 15), you are granted an automatic 4-month extension for filing your North Carolina return if you fill in the "Out of the Country" circle on Page 1 of your return. "Out of the Country" means you live outside the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of work is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or you are in military service outside the United States and Puerto Rico. The time for payment of the tax is also extended; however, interest is due on any unpaid tax from the original due date of the return until the tax is paid. If you are unable to file the return within the automatic 4-month extension period, an additional 2- month extension may be obtained by following the provisions in the first paragraph of this section; however, Form D-410 must be filed by the automatic 4-month extended date of August 15.
United States Armed Forces Pay If you are serving in the United States Armed Forces and your legal residence is North Carolina, you are liable for North Carolina income tax and North Carolina income tax should be withheld from your pay regardless of where you may be stationed. If you are a legal resident of another state stationed in North Carolina on military orders, you are not liable for North Carolina income tax on your military pay, but income from other employment, a business, or tangible property in North Carolina is subject to North Carolina income tax.
Military Spouses - The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act of 2009 prohibits North Carolina from taxing the income earned for services performed in North Carolina by a spouse of a servicemember stationed in North Carolina if;
- The servicemember is present in North Carolina solely in compliance with military orders;
- The spouse is in North Carolina solely to be with the servicemember; and
- The spouse is domiciled in the same state as the servicemember.
Note: If all three of the conditions are met, an employer is not required to withhold North Carolina tax from wages paid to such military spouses.
A spouse who does not meet these requirements should see "Information for Part-Year Residents and Nonresidents" below regarding the filing of their return. The Act does not apply to military spouses who are domiciled in North Carolina. Withholding from wages paid to military spouses domiciled in North Carolina is still required.
For additional information regarding North Carolina Military Pay for Active Duty Servicemembers, please click here.