With tax season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to tackle your taxes. It may be time-consuming and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating or confusing. In this guide, we’ll lay out the steps for how to prepare and file your state tax return in a clear and simple way that will take away a lot of the stress and uncertainty.

File Your State Tax Return

Review the state income tax requirements of each state in which you received income.

The state income tax return is a separate form from the federal income tax return. Each state has its own requirements and deadlines for filing, so it’s important to review those requirements before you begin preparing your state tax return.

In general, dates for filing both federal and state income tax returns are different than those for each other. The federal income tax deadline is April 15th of each year (or October 15th if you file an extension). State returns are due after that date but before the end of April or October depending on your particular situation and which states you earned income in during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31).

Gather your federal income tax return and all supporting documents.

One of the first steps to filing your state tax return is gathering all of the documents you’ll need to do so. This includes:

  • Your federal income tax return and all supporting documents (e.g., W-2 forms, 1099 forms, 1098 forms, and 1095 forms).
  • A copy of your Social Security card (even if you don’t have a Social Security number). If you don’t have a Social Security number—for example, if you’re an international student—you must provide proof such as an immigration document or birth certificate that shows evidence that supports claiming yourself on your own return without including anyone else’s information on it.

Related: What Tax Forms Do I Need to File as an LLC?

Complete your state tax return.

In order to file a state tax return, you need to fill in the blanks on the right forms. Use the right instructions and tools, and make sure you’re using people who are well-trained in doing their jobs. 

In addition, you’ll want to use resources such as guides and references so that what you’re doing is correct. Finally, examples of good and bad filing methods are helpful when deciding how best to proceed with this process.

Review your state tax return for errors.

Make sure you’ve reviewed your state tax return for errors. This is an important step, as it ensures that all of the information you’ve entered is accurate, and will help you avoid any mistakes on your taxes. In addition to checking the information itself, be sure to double-check:

  • Dates (the filing date or due dates)
  • Signatures (if applicable)
  • Types of forms used: 1040-A, 1040-EZ/1040NR-EZ/1040X, or other
  • Amounts reported on each line (this includes money owed as well as amounts paid in taxes)

Ask a trusted source to double-check your work.

Check your return by asking someone you trust to take a look at it. If you are filing jointly, have your partner check their portion of the return as well. If you are not sure what to look for, ask a friend or family member who is good with numbers; they may be able to spot any errors and give you a second opinion on whether or not what you’ve put down makes sense.

You can also use a professional tax preparation service or software. Many people prefer to use these services because they don’t want the hassle of doing it themselves and want someone else to take care of all the paperwork for them. 

However, if this is too expensive for you then try using TurboTax instead; although it will cost less than hiring an accountant but still give great results!

File your state tax return by the deadline.

If you’re filing your state tax return electronically, the deadline is April 18th. If you’re mailing it in, it’s due before midnight on April 18th. If you’re filing in person at an agency, however, the deadline is April 19th at 3:00 pm local time of where you filed (usually one hour after each agency closes).

You must pay all taxes owed for 2022 before your state can process a refund – so don’t wait until the last minute! This also means that if you’re getting money back from Uncle Sam as part of this process and want a check sent to your home address instead of having it deposited into an account like many other states offer (or even just giving out refunds via direct deposit), make sure that request goes through in advance so that no hiccups arise during filing time on April 17th and 18th!

Filing taxes may be stressful but doing it early makes it more manageable

Filing taxes is a stressful process for many. The earlier you file your taxes, the less time you have to worry about them. If you wait until April 15th to file, then it’s going to be a much more stressful and last-minute process. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get everything together and organized. If possible, try filing as early as possible in order to reduce any stress that comes with filing your state tax return.


Hopefully, filing your state tax return doesn’t seem so intimidating now that we’ve given you an overview of how to get started. 

There are a lot of other tips and tricks for staying on top of your tax filing early enough to avoid the last-minute rush. The best advice we can give is to find the method that works for you and stick with it! Once you’ve found what works, it will make this process much easier in the future.