Individual Income Filing Requirements


Do I need to file a North Carolina Individual Income Tax Return?

  • If your income exceeds the amount for your filing status shown on the Filing Requirements Chart, you must file a return.

I'm a part-year resident. Do I have to file?

  • If you are a part-year resident, you must file if:
    • you received income while a resident of the State OR;
    • you received income while a nonresident that is attributable to ownership of any interest in real or tangible personal property in North Carolina or derived from a business, trade, profession or occupation carried on within the State, or is derived from gambling activities in this State and whose total income for the taxable year exceeds the amount for your filing status shown in the Filing Requirements Chart.

I'm a nonresident. Do I have to file?

  • If you are a nonresident, you must file if:
    • you received income for the taxable year from North Carolina sources that was attributable to ownership of any interest in real or tangible personal property in the State or derived from a business, trade, profession, or occupation carried on in North Carolina, or is derived from gambling activities in this State and whose total income from all sources -- both inside and outside -- the State exceeds the amount for your filing status shown in the Filing Requirements Chart.

I had North Carolina income tax withheld, but my income is less than what is shown in the Filing Requirements Chart. Do I have to file?

  • If you had North Carolina income tax withheld during the year but your income is below the amount required for filing shown in the Filing Requirement Chart, you must still file a return to receive a refund of the tax withheld.

I wasn't required to file a federal income tax return; do I still have to file a North Carolina return?

  • 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 the Filing Requirements Chart you are required to file a North Carolina return. You must complete a federal return and attach it to your North Carolina income tax return to show how your adjusted gross income and deductions were determined.

I'm married. Do my spouse and I have to file a joint return?

  • You and your spouse must file a joint return if:
    • you filed a joint federal income tax return AND;
    • both of you were residents of North Carolina or both of you had North Carolina taxable income.
  • When you file a joint return, you must include the names and social security numbers of both spouses on the return.
  • If you filed a joint federal return and one of you was a nonresident of North Carolina who had no North Carolina taxable income, you may file a joint State return. However, you still have the option of filing your State return as married filing separately. See the following question regarding separate returns.

What should I do if I filed a joint federal return, but I want to file a separate North Carolina return?

  • If you filed a joint federal income tax return but file a separate North Carolina return, you must complete either a separate federal return reporting only your income, exemptions, and deductions, OR a schedule showing the computation of your separate income, deductions, and exemptions 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. Both spouses are jointly and severally liable for the tax due on a joint return. However, a spouse will be allowed relief from a joint State income tax liability attributable to a substantial understatement by the other spouse if the spouse qualifies for innocent spouse relief of liability for federal tax attributable to the same substantial understatement by the other spouse under Internal Revenue Code Section 6015.

 


Filing Requirements Chart

Filing Status A Return is Required if Federal Gross Income Exceeds
(1) Single
$7,500
(2) Married - Filing Joint Return
$15,000
(3) Married - Filing Separate Return
$7,500
   If spouse does not claim itemized deductions
$7,500
   If spouse claims itemized deductions
0
(4) Head of Household
$12,000
(5) Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent child
$15,000
(6) Nonresident alien
0

Note: There is no additional standard deduction available for taxpayers age 65 of older or blind. Also, there is no longer a separate chart for children and other dependents.