For most of us, paying state taxes is fairly routine once we have filed our federal income tax forms. However, for those who have moved to a different state during the year, or miscalculated a previous return, it is unpleasant to receive a tax bill and discover late fees, penalties and interest have been added to the original amount owed.
Because every state's filing requirements are different, there is no stock answer for finding out if you owe state taxes. While it should not be difficult to track the information down, it will require some time, as you make some phone calls or surf the Web.
Search the Internet for your state's "Department of Revenue," "Division of Taxation" or a generic "(state name) state taxes." For instance, if you live in Kansas, type in "Kansas state taxes," and it will bring up the Kansas Department of Revenue.
Look for the FAQs web page. It is likely that your state's taxation website will have the answer to your question listed in the "frequently asked questions." section, or a phone number to the exact department you will need to call.
Click on the "contact us" icon, which should be available on each state's website. This will direct you to a phone number where an employee can either verify the information for you, or direct you to someone who can.
Use the phone book. Old-fashioned, but effective, you can look up your state department of taxation in the phone book. In the "government" section, go to the state offices section. From there, look up "taxes", and find a number for your state's department of taxation.
If you speak with an employee who is particularly unhelpful, don't give up easily. If this person cannot answer your question, ask to be directed to someone such as a supervisor who can verify the information for you. Even if you owe taxes and your payment is now considered late, your state may offer an amnesty program, waiving the fees. Ask to speak to someone who specializes in late payments.
Keep a notebook and pen handy to record the date, time and name of anyone you speak to during your search. Just because an employee tells you that you do not owe state taxes does not mean that is correct. However, if you receive an unexpected bill later, you have some leverage to dispute any late fees based on the information you were given that you recorded.
Things You'll Need
Phone book or Internet