Colorado Form 104 Instructions

by Philo Gabriel ; Updated July 27, 2017
Individuals who receive income in Colorado must complete a Colorado state tax form (Form 104) in addition to their federal tax form.

Items you will need

  • Completed federal income tax forms
  • Financial records from the tax year
  • Bank account information or your checkbook

Colorado Form 104 is the state’s standard individual income tax form. This form is used for anyone who earned income in Colorado, whether a full-year resident of the state, a part-year resident or a nonresident; part-year residents and nonresidents will need to complete the additional Colorado Form 104PN. At just 47 lines long, Form 104 is considered one of the simplest and most straightforward state income tax forms.

Step 1

Enter the information as required on the lines at the top of the form preceding the numbered lines. The items in this section are self-explanatory, requiring residency status for the tax year -- full year or part year, name, address, telephone number and social security number.

Step 2

Enter your federal taxable income on Line 1. Note that this is not your total gross income, but your income after it has been adjusted by your exemptions and deductions. You will find this figure on Line 43 if you used Form 1040, Line 27 if you used Form 1040A or Line 6 if you used Form 1040 EZ.

Enter your state income tax deduction on Line 2. This will be zero unless you used Form 1040 and itemized your deductions, in which case the figure can be found on Line 5 of your Schedule A.

Enter on Line 3 the amount of any other additions, including interest earned on state and local bonds issued prior to May 1, 1980; lump-sum distributions from a pension or profit sharing plan; your child’s income that you reported on your federal tax form; a federal charitable contribution on which you also claimed a Colorado gross conservation easement credit; unauthorized alien labor services expenses; and any increase in your federal taxable income from a fiduciary adjustment or partnership modification.

Enter on Line 4 the sum of Lines 1 through 3. This is your Colorado taxable income prior to subtracting any deductions.

Step 3

Enter on Line 5 any state income tax refund you reported on Line 10 of Form 1040.

Enter on Line 6 any interest you earned on United States government bonds or treasury bills that were a part of your federal taxable income, not including Fannie Mae or Ginnie Mae interest.

Enter on Line 7 your pension, annuity or Social Security income up to $24,000 if you are 65 or older, or up to $20,000 if you are 55 to 64 or are a secondary beneficiary receiving the income due to the death of the primary beneficiary. This only applies if this income was included in your federal taxable income or was added on Line 3 of this form.

Enter on Line 8 the spouse’s pension, annuity or Social Security income, calculated by the same method as specified for Line 7.

Enter on Line 9 up to $100,000 of capital gains income only if the income is included in your federal taxable income, the income came from the sale of real or tangible property located in Colorado, you acquired the property after May 9, 1994 and you owned it continuously for at least five years prior to the sale. Attach form DR 1316.

Enter on Line 10 any tuition contributions you made through the CollegeInvest program that were included as federal taxable income.

Enter on Line 11 your charitable contributions in excess of $500 only if you did not itemize deductions on your federal income tax form and did not deduct your charitable contributions on your federal return as a business or other deduction.

Enter on Line 12 your other subtractions, including PERA retirement benefits if you made contributions in 1984, 1985 or 1986; Denver School District No. 1 retirement benefits if you made contributions in 1986; railroad retirement benefits; income earned on an Indian reservation as a recognized tribal member; medical savings account contributions and interest; and 50 percent of the cost of wildfire mitigation up to $2,500.

Enter on Line 13 the sum of Lines 5 through 12. This is what you will subtract from your Colorado taxable income.

Step 4

Enter on Line 14 the difference between Line 4 and Line 13, or $0 if Line 13 exceeds Line 4. This is your Colorado taxable income.

Step 5

Enter on Line 15 the state tax found in the tax table for your amount of income from Line 14. Part-year residents and nonresidents must first complete Form 104PN, and then enter the amount from Line 36 of that form.

Enter on Line 16 your Colorado alternative minimum tax, if any. This can be found on Line 8 of Form 104AMT.

Enter on Line 17 any credit claimed in a prior year that must be recaptured.

Enter on Line 18 the sum of Lines 15 through 17.

Step 6

Enter on Line 19 any nonrefundable credits from Line 47 of Form 104CR.

Enter on Line 20 the difference between Line 18 and Line 19, or $0 if Line 19 exceeds Line 18. This is your net Colorado tax owed.

Step 7

Enter on Line 21 any Colorado tax that was withheld on your W-2.

Enter on Line 22 any Colorado tax you estimated and prepaid.

Enter on Line 23 the total refundable child care credits from Line 9 of Form 104CR.

Enter on Line 24 the sum of Lines 21 through 23.

Enter on Line 25 your federal adjusted gross income. You will find this figure on Line 37 if you used Form 1040, Line 21 if you used Form 1040A or Line 4 if you used Form 1040 EZ.

Step 8

Enter on Line 26 the amount of your overpayment if Line 24 is larger than Line 20. Otherwise skip to Step 9.

Enter on Lines 27 through 41 any amounts of your overpayment that you want to use toward your next year’s tax or toward the various listed charitable options.

Enter on Line 42 the sum of Lines 27 through 41.

Enter on Line 43 the difference between Line 26 and Line 42. This is your refund amount. There are spaces to enter your bank routing number and account number to have this amount directly deposited.

Step 9

Enter on Lines 44 through 47 the amounts you owe, including the difference between Line 20 and Line 24 -- your underpayment, and your penalties and interest.

Step 10

Pay the amount you owe, either by enclosing a check with your return, or by paying online at the website specified under Line 47.

Step 11

Sign and date the form, and fill in your birth year.


  • Colorado recommends e-filing Form 104 to save on postage and inconvenience, and to receive your refund more quickly.

About the Author

Philo Gabriel began writing professionally in 2001, specializing in philosophy, gambling, criminal justice, personal history filmmaking and alternative education. He holds a Bachelor or Arts in philosophy from New College of Florida, as well as a Masters of Arts in philosophy and law from the University of Arizona.

Photo Credits

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