West Virginia residents file a tax return at the state level every year, along with their federal return with the IRS. Although the state's income tax is reasonable, it can vary from one taxpayer to the next. Qualifying West Virginia residents face a tax of 3 percent to 6.50 percent each year, depending on their income brackets.
Who Must File West Virginia Income Taxes?
As in many states, residency status determines whether you pay income taxes for the tax year. For income tax purposes, you're considered a resident if you spent more than 30 days in the state with plans to remain there permanently. You're also considered a resident if you live in nearby Pennsylvania or Virginia and spent more than 183 days in the state during the tax year.
If you're a nonresident, you may be required to file a return if you received income from West Virginia businesses during the tax year. Military members will file based on the same criteria as civilians. If you lived in the state 30 days or more, you should file as a resident, while if you received income from West Virginia sources, you should file as a nonresident.
What Are the Forms to Use?
The West Virginia State Tax Department provides all its forms and instructions in one booklet at the start of each tax season. You can download and print the Personal Income Tax Forms and Instructions publication. It includes the forms necessary to kick off your annual state tax preparation in West Virginia:
- Form IT-140, which is the basic income tax form all residents use to file taxes
- Schedule M, which is where you're calculate any adjustments to your adjusted gross income
- Schedule F, which the estate of deceased taxpayers complete
- Schedules H and E, which are used if you're disabled or if you paid income tax to another state
- Schedule A, which nonresidents and part-time residents use to calculate taxes owed
What Is the Tax Rate in West Virginia?
Before you file your personal income tax return, it's important to gather all your documents. You'll have to calculate your taxable income to determine what tax rate you'll pay. Everyone but those claiming married filing separately will follow the same West Virginia tax rate income guide:
- 3 percent tax rate on earnings up to $10,000
- $300 plus 4 percent tax rate of excess over $10,000 for earnings of $10,000-$25,000
- $900 plus 4.5 percent tax rate of excess over $25,000 for earnings of $25,000-$40,000
- $1,575 plus 6 percent tax rate of excess over $40,000 for earnings of $40,000-$60,000
- $2,775 plus 6.5 percent tax rate of excess over $60,000 for earnings above $60,000
Those who are married filing separately follow a different tax rate income guide:
- 3 percent tax rate on earnings up to $5,000
- $150 plus 4 percent tax rate of excess over $5,000 for earnings of $5,000-$12,500
- $450 plus 4.5 percent tax rate of excess over $12,500 for earnings of $12,500-$20,000
- $787.50 plus 6 percent tax rate of excess over $20,000 for earnings of $20,000-$30,000
- $1,387.50 plus 6.5 percent tax rate of excess over $30,000 for earnings above $30,000
What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?
The state of West Virginia sets April 15 as the annual income tax filing deadline. In 2022, since April 15 is a holiday, the deadline is April 18.
But what if you can't file your state tax return by the deadline? You can complete Form WV-4868, which is an application for a six-month extension. You'll still need to pay the tax due by the deadline, though. This just delays the grueling process of completing the paperwork.
What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?
Although you can file for an extension, it's still important to make your tax payments on time. Failure to do so will bring penalties that are based on the amount of the tax that wasn't paid on time.
- Failure to file: This results in a 5 percent penalty per month with a 25 percent maximum.
- Failure to pay: This results in a 0.5 percent penalty per month with a 25 percent maximum.
- Failure to pay due to negligence: This results in a 5 percent penalty per month with a 25 percent maximum.
- Filing a fraudulent return: This results in a 50 percent penalty.
Where Do I Mail/E-file My West Virginia Return?
The West Virginia State Tax Department uses the IRS's modernized E-File system to allow taxpayers to file their returns electronically. To file your state income taxes online, you'll simply go to MyTaxes.WVTax.gov and register for an account.
Prefer paper? West Virginia allows that, as well. You can visit the tax department website and download the fillable PDFs. Using these forms, you’ll be able to complete everything on your computer, print them and mail them to the address listed on that page. There are separate addresses for mailing returns due a refund and returns that require you to remit a payment.
There's a third option for West Virginia residents: You can complete your annual tax filing using the state's list of approved providers. If you file your federal tax return using software or a service, this can be a way to streamline things.
How Do I Pay Taxes Due?
The easiest way to pay any amount you owe in taxes is to use the online tax payment options that West Virginia makes available. There are three payment options available to West Virginia taxpayers paying online: ACH credits, ACH debits and credit cards.
If you want to pay by check or money order, you'll need to mail it in with a payment voucher. This is Form IT-140V, Individual Income Tax Electronic Payment Voucher.
Where Can I Check My West Virginia Refund Status?
Once you've filed your West Virginia personal income tax return, the wait begins. If you're due a refund, you might be watching your bank account a little more closely for that direct deposit to show up. The good news is that you can easily check your tax refund status using the Where's My Refund tool. You'll just need your taxpayer ID and the amount of your refund to verify your identity.
What About West Virginia Taxes if You’re Self-employed?
If you're self-employed, you're expected to pay taxes on the income you make just as you would if you were on someone's payroll. However, you won't have the convenience of taxes being withheld. As with federal taxes, you'll need to pay estimated taxes to the West Virginia tax department each quarter to avoid penalties at tax time.
What About West Virginia Taxes if You’re a Business?
Businesses and corporations in West Virginia pay a variety of taxes, including sales tax, corporate income tax and excise tax. As with your personal income taxes, you can file your West Virginia business taxes through MyTaxes.WVTax.gov.
West Virginia residents only need one web address to file all their taxes. By registering for an account at MyTaxes.WVTax.gov, you can access the e-filing system, pay your taxes and maintain your business and personal accounts with the state tax department. If you'd prefer to streamline things, you can use the same tax preparation software you use for your federal tax return, as long as it's on the state's list of approved providers.
The rates and dates in the article are correct as of publication, but check for any changes on the West Virginia State Tax Department website when you are ready to file.
- West Virginia State Tax Department: How Do I
- West Virginia State Tax Department: West Virginia Personal Income Tax Forms & Instructions
- West Virginia State Tax Department: WV-4868 Application for Extension of Time to File
- West Virginia State Tax Department: How Interest and Additions To Tax Are Assessed
- West Virginia State Tax Department: Electronic Filing for Individuals
- West Virginia State Tax Department: Individuals
- West Virginia State Tax Department: Electronic Filing for Individuals - 2020 Approved Providers
- West Virginia State Tax Department: Payment Options for Individuals
- West Virginia State Tax Department: West Virginia Individual Income Tax Electronic Payment Voucher & Instructions
- West Virginia State Tax Department: West Virginia Instructions for Making Estimated Tax Payments
Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a ghostwriter for a credit card processing service and has ghostwritten about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, Ecommerce Insiders, GoBankingRates, and ThriveBy30.