How to File City Taxes

File City Taxes
Image Credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

No matter what you do for a living, filing your taxes is a fact of life. If you have earned income, chances are you will need to file taxes not only on the federal level but on the state and local level as well. It is important for all workers to research tax liability and make sure that taxes are paid in full and on time.

Step 1

Determine which city, township or municipality you need to pay taxes to. In some cases you will need to pay taxes to the city where you work, while in other cases you will need to pay your local taxes to the city where you live. Still other locations will split their local tax revenue between your work and your home location. The human resources department of the company you work for should be able to give you some guidance in this regard.

If you are retired or self-employed, contact your city's revenue department for information on how and where to file your taxes. Your city's revenue department will be able to provide you with the appropriate tax forms.

Step 2

Determine the percentage of taxes you will need to pay to the city where you live or work. This percentage will vary from city to city, so it is important to check with your local authorities for the exact tax rate. The human resources department of your company may help you determine your level of taxation and ensure the appropriate amount of taxes are withheld from your paycheck.

Self-employed persons, small business owners and retired individuals can contact the city revenue department for information on the appropriate tax rate. Depending on the level of your income, you may be required to file taxes on a quarterly basis.

Step 3

Gather the paperwork you will need to complete your taxes. In most cases it will be easier to file all of your taxes--including federal, state and city taxes---at the same time. Many people find it simpler to complete their federal tax returns first, then transfer the appropriate dollar figures to their state and city returns. Since the city will also use the April 15 tax filing deadline, this strategy will make it easy to satisfy your tax liability.

Step 4

Gather all of your tax information together and use it to complete your city tax return. Have your 1040 form handy when completing your city tax return-you may be able to transfer the figures directly from your federal tax return to your city form. When completing the form, make sure you understand what types of income are taxable on the local level. Some cities will tax only earned income, while others will tax unearned income like capital gains and bank interest.

If you are a contract worker, you will need to gather all of your 1099 forms together and add up your total income for the year. Most city tax forms will have a line for business or self-employment income, as well as lines for interest income, dividend income and other forms of compensation you may have.