Individual Income Taxes
Montana residents are taxed on all income, regardless of source, except that income which is statutorily exempted from taxation. Part-year residents and nonresidents are taxed on all Montana source income that is derived from or connected to Montana sources. Additionally, part-year residents are taxed on all non-Montana source income generated during or attributable to the period of the tax year in which they resided in Montana.
Montana's individual income tax was enacted in 1933 and continues to this day to be the largest source of state tax revenue. The state's income tax is viewed as a "progressive" tax system because of the distribution of tax burden and because income is taxed according to a graduated rate structure with rates ranging from 1% to 6.9% of taxable income.
Taxable income is derived from gross income by making certain adjustments and taking a variety of allowable deductions and exclusions. This tax generally applies to the net income of Montana residents and nonresidents.
"Tie to Federal" Alignment
Probably the most significant feature of Montana's income tax is the substantial reliance on the federal tax code. Often described as a "tie to federal" alignment, this reliance allows the state to establish the essential elements of this tax system by direct reference to federal definitions of income and deductions, and federal reporting procedures and protocol.
This reliance is common among the 43 other states imposing individual income taxes. Most importantly, this approach allows both the state and its taxpayers to realize significant operating efficiencies. Without this parallel structure, Montanans would face increased complexity and substantially higher compliance costs.
The income tax statutes do, however, reflect Montana-specific tax policy as determined by previous legislative assemblies. These policy directives are found in the areas of additions and subtractions to federal adjusted gross income, unique itemized deductions, and tax credits.
Collection of Individual Income Tax
Income tax revenues are collected primarily through employer withholding, periodic estimated tax payments, and payments made when the return is filed. Income tax revenues are distributed 100% to the general fund.
Electronic filing of the Montana income tax return along with the federal return is available. Direct deposit of refunds is available to all filers along with direct deposit to automatically pay your tax liability when you electronically file your return.
Last updated 11/22/2011 1:05:50 PM