How to File ONLY a State Tax Return on efile.com
ATTENTION: Due to a recent policy change by tax authorities (not efile.com and other online tax websites), you can only efile a state tax return with your federal tax return. Though you can prepare your state return on efile.com, you will need to print, sign, and mail it to the state tax agency. We apologize for this inconvenience due to policy change-we do not like it either! We are working on bringing state-only efiling back.
Here are the instructions on how to prepare, print, and mail only your state tax return (the instructions contain images that are not interactive):
How to Prepare, Print, and Mail Only Your State Tax Return
If you do not have an efile.com account, create a free account.
Sign in and begin preparing your state return. You will start by entering general information.
Basically, you will need to go through the motions of preparing a federal return, but you will NOT have to efile it, and you will NOT have to pay for it. This seems confusing, but you will need to prepare a federal return on efile.com even if you have already filed or efiled a federal return elsewhere. This is because the state return is largely based on the federal return.
Once you have completed your state return, click File on the gray left menu and click the green Continue button until you reach the E-filing Your Return screen On that screen, do not click the No thanks, I don t want to e-file my federal return link. This seems contradictory (because you are not filing the federal return), but you will need to keep the Yes, I want to e-file my federal return selection in order to move on to the next step (as shown below).
Before you reach the next step, you will go to a screen describing the additional audit protection service. Since we already offer free audit protection, click the No thanks button so you would not be charge for the service.
On the Lowest Price Guarantee screen, you will still see a fee for preparing the federal return (if you prepared a 1040-EZ, the federal return will be free and you will not see a fee for the federal return). Please contact efile.com support and one of our Taxperts will give you a special discount code so you are not charged for the federal return.
To enter the code, click on the blue Have a promo code? link, enter it in the box that appears, and click Redeem. You can only enter one promo code, so please do not enter any other discount codes.
Once you enter the promo code, select the Credit/Debit Card option to pay with your credit or debit card and continue to credit/debit card payment screen.
Please note that this code does not make your state return free. Only the federal return will be free. Preparation of state returns is $19.95 (one fee that includes as many state returns as you need).
If there is no link to your PDF return (or if the PDF has a Not Valid for Filing watermark), you will need to pay for the preparation of your state return in order to generate the PDF and/or remove the watermark (see Steps 3 and 4). However, if you still do not see the PDF link and/or see the watermark after paying for the preparation of your return, click File on the left menu and click the green Continue button until you get to the screen that has the Yes, I d like to create a preview of my return link. Once you click that link, the PDF will be generated and/or updated without the Not Valid for Filing watermark. You ll see a link to the return on the My Account screen.
Why Do I Have to Prepare a Federal Return?
In order to prepare state returns, you must also prepare a federal return because almost all of the information for a state return is taken from the federal return.
However, you will NOT have to file your federal return, and you will NOT have to pay for it
We know it may be a hassle to enter federal return information all over again if you have already done so somewhere else, and for that we deeply regret the inconvenience. Because of this, we recommend preparing and efiling your federal return at the same time as your state return(s) on efile.com.
Do I Need to File Returns for Other States?
You generally have to file a tax return for your resident state. However, you may need to file more than one state return if any of the following are true:
- You resided in more than one state.
- You moved from one state to another state.
- You worked and earned income in another state.
- You had gambling winnings in another state.
- You had rental income from another state.
- You had partnership or S-Corp income from a business based in another state.
- You had income from an estate or trust with interest in a another state.
- Your employer improperly withheld taxes for the wrong state.