How to File a Local Tax Return

••• A young woman holding a pen, doing her taxes image by Christopher Meder from

Filing your taxes with the IRS each year is essential, but your tax obligations do not end there. To be in full compliance with the tax law, you might also be required to file tax returns with the state where you reside, and with the local taxing authority as well. Knowing how to properly fill out and file this tax return can help you avoid penalties, interest and other charges.

Obtain a local tax form from your local taxing authority. If you have filed local taxes in the past, the taxing authority should automatically send you a new form at the beginning of each year. Contact the taxing authority if you do not receive a form by the middle of January.

Gather all of your income information from the previous year, including W-2 forms from jobs you held, 1099 forms from the bank and documentation of any additional income you earned. Your W-2 form should have a section designated for inclusion with the local tax form.

Read the local tax form instructions carefully to determine what types of income are taxable. The rules governing what is considered taxable income vary, so be sure to read the instructions before filling out your return.

Enter each form of income on the appropriate line, i.e. wages, interest, business income. Add the amounts carefully and always double-check your math.

Place the amount of local taxes withheld from your paycheck on the appropriate line. If you worked during the previous year, your employer should have automatically withheld the appropriate percentage of income to pay your local taxes.

Compare the amount of local taxes withheld from your paycheck with what you paid during the year through payroll deductions and direct payments. Fill out the amount of your refund or the amount you owe. Write a check for the amount owed if applicable and mail the completed form to the address shown in the instructions.