Form D-400 Filing Requirements


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

  • If your income equals or exceeds the amount for your filing status shown on the charts below, 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 equals or exceeds the amount for your filing status shown in the following charts.

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 equals or exceeds the amount for your filing status shown in the charts below.

I had North Carolina income tax withheld, but my income is less than what is shown in the charts. 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 following charts, 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 following charts, you must complete a federal return and attach it to your North Carolina income tax return to show how your adjusted gross income, deductions, and exemptions 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 if the spouse qualifies for innocent spouse relief under Internal Revenue Code Section 6015.

* Same-Sex Marriage Guidance


Filing Requirements
For Most Taxpayers

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


I am a dependent. Do I have to file a North Carolina return?

  • If another person (such as your parent) can claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax return, use the following chart to determine if you must file a North Carolina income tax return.

Filing Requirements
For Children and Other Dependents

Single dependents under 65 must file a return if your unearned income was:
$1 or more AND the total of that income plus your earned income was: more than $500
$0 AND the total of that income plus your earned income was: more than $3,000
Single dependents age 65 or older or blind must file a return if your:
earned income was

  (if 65 or older AND blind):

more than $3,750

($4,500)

unearned income was:

  (if 65 or older AND blind):
more than $1,250

($2,000)
gross income was

  
(if 65 or older AND blind):
more than the total of your earned income (up to $2,650 plus $350) OR $500, whichever is larger, plus $750

($1,500)
Married dependents under 65 must file a return if:
your earned income was: more than $3,000
you had any unearned income and your gross income was: more than $500
your gross income was: at least $10 and your spouse files a separate federal income tax return on Form 1040 and itemizes deductions.
Married dependents 65 or older or blind must file a return if your:
earned income was

  (if 65 or older AND blind):

more than $3,600

($4,200)

unearned income was

  (if 65 or older AND blind):
more than $1,100

($1,700)
gross income was

 
 (if 65 or older AND blind):
more than the total of your earned income (up to $2,650 plus $350), or $500, whichever is larger, plus $600

($1,200)
gross income was at least $10 and your spouse files a separate federal income tax return on Form 1040 and itemizes deductions.



What is 'unearned income'?

  • Unearned income includes:
    • taxable interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, annuities, and;
    • social security benefits.

What is 'earned income'?

  • Earned income includes
    • salaries
    • wages
    • tips
    • professional fees
    • scholarships that must be included in income and;
    • other compensation received for personal services.